Imagine a caraffe.  Every person has a caraffe – some small, some large.  You can only work with what you’ve got.  But no matter the size of your caraffe, everyone has a finite volume in their caraffe. 

And in this caraffe, we have an Indian beverage called “Limbu-Pani”, which translates to “Lime-Water”.  It’s a homemade limeade mixture sweetened with sugar but also seasoned with salt and pepper (and there is some remnant lime fruit pulp that settles at the bottom).

Turbinado sugar gives “Limbu-Pani” a caramel color
Whether it’s a good friend or a long-time crush, you might pour them the first glass.  The first glass is perceived to be the best – fresh, balanced, quenching, and refreshing!  Unfortunately, that friendship or relationship may not work out, but not to worry, there is more volume in your caraffe to spare.  And then you might find THE ONE, and you pour them a glass and maybe a few refills too, because, you know that you don’t need to reserve any limbu pani once you find “the one”.  We always extend the best of what we have to the ones we love.

Unfortunately, even that relationship or friendship may not last, and you may have nothing left in your caraffe.  Then someone comes along, much more worthy of that first glass or two, but you already gave away all the contents of your caraffe.  So the only thing you can do is to add water to the sediment at the bottom of the caraffe…a few salt and sugar crystals, the pepper, the lime pulp.  The sediment is still there.  So you add water, swirl it around and give it a nice pour and you empty out the sediment.  This fluid is the gritty-est of the batch, and it doesn’t look pretty either.  But they took what was left, drank it, and they smiled and said thank you.

We are all at heart a little sweet, a little salty, and at our worst, a little sour.  Make the best glass of limbu-pani for the friend, family, and/or significant other who embraces you even for your worst.
Happy Anniversary, A.

(I wonder if this post will elicit a single comment from him after my years of blogging)

Limbu-Pani (Sweet and Salty Limeade)
(also known as Nimbu-Pani)
Limbu-Pani is a lot like lemon-lime sports drinks, but WAY better!  You’ll want this and NEED this during the hot summer months!  Most families in India have a batch ready to drink to stay hydrated in the brutally hot summer months.
(Serves 2)


2 cups water
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice with pulp
4 Tablespoons turbinado sugar (regular sugar can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
lime slices for garnish


1.  Combine the lime juice with the sugar, salt, and pepper.  Mix well until most of the crystals have dissolved.  The mixture will have an amber color from the turbinado sugar.  Lime pulp and pepper will settle at the bottom.
2.  Add water.  Taste for desired sweetness and adjust accordingly.  Dilute if desired.
3.  Just before serving add ice, if desired.