Delilah's Limeade and it's Story

This is the perfect limeade recipe. Refreshingly tart yet sweet. Great for when limes are in season. I was glancing through one of my favorite cookbooks. Delilah's Everyday Soul Cookbook. (Southern Cooking with Style). I am always looking through my collection of cookbooks. It never fails that as many times as I have read them I always come across a recipe I didn't see before. My favorite cookbooks are the ones that have old family stories & tales that go along with their recipes. It's so much fun to read about different family traditions and the stories behind each recipes it makes the food that much more interesting. I came across this recipe for Limeade, it looked so refreshing and really easy to make. I am a big fan of Cherry Limeade and Lemonade so I had to make this.

This particular story behind the Limeade recipe is a bit of a sad one. Delilah told the story of when she was a a little girl in the 1950's she used to go with her mother to Peoples Drug Store. Back then the Drug Stores sold ice cream and drink as well. This particular place had a Soda Fountain up on the counter with stools so you could take a break from shopping and get a cold drink. Delilah was seven years old at the time and wanted one of the famous limey drinks from the counter.

She propped herself up on a stool and proceeded to wait and place her order. For some reason it was taking so long, there were a lot of people at the counter that day as Delilah waited. She wondered to herself, am I to small that the lady cant see me? Finally the waitress walked over and said "little girl you can sit there, whatever you want you need to go over to the stand only section" . 

Delilahs mother noticed the confrontation and called for her to come back. She told her daughter she would order the Limeade for her from the standing area. Delilah finally got her Limeade that day. Today Delilah says her love for Limeade is stronger than the likes of the 1950's social ignorance.

To this day Delilah makes a stop out of town in Richmond, Virginia to get her famous Limeade. Peoples Drug store has since closed down, so she relies on Bills BBQ to get her Limeades, but it's just as good. You should check out her cookbook Delilah shares her southern-inspired recipes that helped earn her the devotion of many. It's packed full of southern goodness and great family pictures sure to please anyone. It's one of my favorite cookbooks. She has a recipe for Homemade Macaroni and Cheese that was featured on the Food Network it's out of this world good. Her recipe uses 7 different cheeses. That recipe should be be outlawed.
This particular recipe calls for a Simple Syrup . Simple syrup is the secret ingredient used to make the best cold homemade beverages. It consists of sugar and water boiled and cooled, then added to your favorite beverage. Simple Syrup is also used in the south to make Southern Sweet Tea. A lot of people drink Sweet tea or so they say, but everyone in the South knows the only way to have ice tea is to make it " curl your toes sweet" Now that's Southern Sweet Tea. Well enough about all this lets get started on the syrup for our Limeade. The full recipe is at the bottom of my post.

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil, and boil just until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat; and set aside to cool completely. It will look very clear in color.

you will need the juice of 24 limes and 10 cups seltzer water. I added a bit more of the water. Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Add the cooled simple syrup and stir to blend. Serve in tall glasses with ice. I like to leave some of the cut up limes in the pitcher it really packs a punch of real tartness. The seltzer water is a real surprise you just don't expect the bubbly goodness.

Juice of 24 Limes
10 - 12 Cups Seltzer Water
1 recipe - Simple Syrup (recipe below)
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher,
stirring to blend. serve in tall glasses of over ice.

Simple Syrup Recipe:
2 - Cups Sugar
1 - Cup Water

To make the syrup combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil just until the sugar is melted. 

Remove from heat; and set aside to cool completely before using. You can double the syrup recipe and store the remaining syrup in a covered container and place in the refrigerator. You can use the syrup to sweeten sweet tea or lemonade.

Recipe yields approx 12 cups


VG said…
Hi Tina

I am sure to try this over the Australian summer.

Unfortunately, I have to wait another three to four months until the weather fines up:(

Rhea said…
That looks wonderful!

I like the story that went with it, although not the social ignorance involved. :o(

Thanks for visiting me! I'm north of Dallas, in McKinney. We're practically neighbors.
Tina Butler said…
Vg I hope your weather on your end of the world gets better. I saw the pics at your site of the hail storm how neat. thanks for the comment.

Rhea, we are practically neighbors Mckinney isnt that far at all. I love recipes that have stories. I like your blog. I am making the pork chops for dinner tonight.
Southern Plate said…
F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S Tutorials!!! I love this recipe and the story behind it, ugh! Broke my heart. Thank you so much for posting it.
Isn't simple syrup divine? I've fallen in love with it and keep it in my fridge whenever possible. It has so many great uses!
Now I want limeade......
Hey neighbor, how's it going? I am so glad you posted the limeade. I like limes a whole lot better than lemons. Thank you. Good post.
Stephanie said…
That is a kind of sad story, but I'm glad it has a happy ending - a wonderful cookbook by a beautiful woman.

We've made lemonade with syrup like that, and it turned out so deliciously smooth I could hardly believe it was homemade, even though we had made it! I bet it's absolutely fantastic with limeade.
Anonymous said…
When I was in college in Williamburg, VA, we would drive to Richmond, VA just for Bill's BBQ limeade! Can't wait to try this recipe.
Coraniaid said…
I have lived in Richmond, VA for the past 30 or so years & Bill's BBQ Limeade is a summer staple in my household but as for the BBQ itself I drive all the way down to Williamsburg (Toano, actually) for Pierce's Pit BBQ (or just make it at home)!!

I can't wait to try this as I'm trying to lower my restaurant budget.
Anonymous said…
How much sugar and water do you need to add to the syrup? By the way it looks amazingly refreshing
Tina Butler said…
The only sugar ande water added is the amount used to make the simple syrup. You don't need any additional sugar. The simple syrup sweetens the limeade.
Anonymous said…
Deee-lish! Thank goodness we have this recipe now that Bill's BBQ is closed. =(

Anonymous said…
What are the quantities if I make it in a 1 gallon capacity? I used to live in Richmond Virginia and I loved bills BBQ limeade. They closed up and I live in Kentucky now. No limeade here so my wife wants to make it for me. Thank you for the story!
T said…
So glad I found this recipe and that I'm not the only one who thought Bill's BBQ had the best limeade. I'm 30 yrs old, born and raised here in Richmond. I can remember being just a little guy when my grandfather first took me to Bill's and introduced to their limeade, and many times after. I was so upset about 4 or 5 yrs ago when they finally closed for good. Many places sell limeade but none come close to Bill's perfect mixture of bubbly sweet yet tart magic that made my eyes light up as a child. As all good things must come to an end, my grandpa has passed on as well. But I can't wait to try this as it looks like it has all the right ingredients that Bill's did, and I'm going to take some to my 85 yrs old grandma to see if her eyes light up as mine once did. She's been trying to find something close to Bill's for years.

Thanks for the story and sorry for the long post but it's funny one little drink sparks a world of memories. I really enjoy your southern style recipes, it's what I was raised on. Lived between here in Richmond and a little town in deep south Alabama called Fairhope (mom's side of the family) my whole life. It's just a way of life. Manners, respect, and damn good food. Take care!