An epicurean adventure to: Australia
This quintessential Aussie drink of lime, lemon and bitters is just the thirst quencher you need on a hot summer's day. It's a doddle to make with only three ingredients; lemonade, lime juice and a few drops of aromatic bitters.
Reportedly, over 100 million of these non-alcoholic soft drinks are served in Australia each year. That's one iconic drink!
If you enjoyed this drink, also try South Africa's Rock Shandy! Alternatively, for more refreshing, creamier, non-alcoholic beverages, try this strawberry lassi, Nutella milkshake or iced coffee with condensed milk.
- What's the origin of Lemon, lime and bitters?
- Fast facts - Australia
- What you'll love about this drink
- Key ingredients
- How to make an LLB: Step-by-step
- Lemon, lime, bitter alcohol content
- Make it alcoholic
- How to make a lime/lemon peel twisty to hook on your glass
- Other drinks using aromatic bitters
- More recipes from Australia
What's the origin of Lemon, lime and bitters?
The exact origins of lemon, lime and bitters remain somewhat mysterious, but there is a legend that this zesty blend made its debut in Australia circa 1880. It was created as a non-alcoholic substitute for the traditional "pink gin," which typically consists of gin mixed with bitters.
It quickly became the favourite drink of choice for golfers Down Under, who would savour a refreshing LLB after a round on the greens.
Nowadays, you can order this tangy treat at bars or grab a pre-mixed version at the supermarket. Lemon, lime and bitters even earned the title of "Australia's national drink" in an ABC News article. It's often seen as a mocktail, but beware – some places might ask for ID because of its teeny, tiny alcohol content from the bitters.
Fast facts - Australia
|Location||Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and it shares maritime borders with Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Zealand.|
|Language||English is the official language of Australia. However, due to its multicultural society, more than 200 languages are spoken by its diverse population, including Indigenous Australian languages and immigrant languages.|
|Population||Circa 25 million people.|
|Trivia||Australia is home to some of the world's most dangerous and venomous creatures, including snakes, spiders, jellyfish and crocodiles. However, incidents involving these animals are rare and the country has strict safety measures in place.|
What you'll love about this drink
- This refreshing drink is quick to make with only three ingredients, plus some ice.
- It's a great way to beat the heat and keep you cool on a hot day in the southern hemisphere.
- Feels like having a cocktail, but without the alcohol.
- Looks impressive in a glass with its orange and light green tones.
- Can be dressed up with various lime decorations.
- Easily scalable as long as you roughly keep to a 1:12 ratio of lemonade and lime juice.
- The lemon lime and bitter alcohol content is negligible at about 0.9% per drink.
**Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full and detailed ingredient list.
Feel free to add as much or as little ice as you want. It's all about tailoring it to your personal taste and preference.
You can also use sugar-free lemonade for a low-calorie or diabetic version.
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Opt for freshly squeezed lime juice. Using lime juice from a bottle just doesn't cut it. It's not the same vibrant burst of flavour.
Aromatic bitters are the essential ingredient of lemon lime and bitters.
We use Angostura bitters, which can typically be found in the alcohol or spirits section of a shop, often near the cocktail mixers or speciality ingredients. It's a small bottle with a large, apothecary-style, oversized label.
How to make an LLB: Step-by-step
- Add ice to a glass.
- Add the lemonade to the glass.
- Add the fresh lime juice.
- Add a few dashes of bitters to taste. Start with a few shakes, test it and make a note for future reference on the quantity that suits your preference. We like anywhere between 5-10 generous shakes per glass.
- Give it a brief stir but be cautious not to overdo it. The goal is to maintain that ombre effect, with most of the orange settling at the top. Keeping it stylish!
- Decorate the glass if you wish - Enjoy!
Lemon, lime, bitter alcohol content
Angostura bitters contain 44.7% alcohol. If you add 5ml of bitters to 250ml of zero alcohol liquid (lemonade) it will make the total alcohol percentage of the drink 0.87647059%.
This is a very low alcohol percentage and almost negligent. It's still not suitable for kids and teetotallers though. Pregnant women should make their own call.
As a comparison, a standard beer contains between 3-4% alcohol per serving size.
Make it alcoholic
For an alcoholic cocktail version of LLB, add a shot of vodka to the glass. It won't interfere much with the natural flavours of the drink.
How to make a lime/lemon peel twisty to hook on your glass
- Use a standard kitchen peeler to peel a longish ribbon of lime/lemon peel. Try to go around the widest circumference of the fruit without breaking your 'string'.
- Lay the string flat onto a cutting board and slice a thin strip of peel along the entire length of the ribbon. You can make this as thick or thin as you wish.
- Twist the strip around your finger to make a 'spring'.
- Hook the twisty on the side of a glass.
Other drinks using aromatic bitters
Now that you own a bottle of aromatic bitters, here are some more drinks you can use it for:
- Old Fashioned
- Singapore Sling
- Whiskey Flip
- Gingerbread sour
- Trinidad sour
- Brandy Manhattan
- Pink Gin
You should be able to buy bitters in any liquor store, or the drinks department in most large supermarkets.
Even though the alcohol content in it is so low, it still contains some, so you need to be above the legal drinking age to purchase it.
Yes, you can. There are some zero-alcohol types of bitters bitters available on the market, like the brand 'All the Bitters'.
Absolutely! Use zero-sugar lemonade, which will make the calorie and sugar content near negligible bar the small amount in the lime juice.
Angostura Bitters does mention sugar on their ingredient label, but it doesn't say how much. For a really in-depth analysis, you can read this article by Boston Apothecary on deconstructing Angostura bitters. Essentially, the sugar content from the bitters after it's diluted will be tiny.
More recipes from Australia
Lemon lime bitters
- ice - Enough to fill the glass ½ - ¼ of the way
- 250 millilitre lemonade
- 20 millilitre lime juice - freshly squeezed
- 5-10 dashes Angostura bitters - or other bitter of your choice
- Add your preferred amount of ice to the glass.ice
- Add the lemonade and lime juice. Give it a quick stir.250 millilitre lemonade, 20 millilitre lime juice
- Add a few dashes of bitters to taste.5-10 dashes Angostura bitters
- Give it a brief stir but be cautious not to overdo it. The goal is to maintain that ombre effect, with most of the orange settling at the top.
- Decorate the glass with a straw and a slice of lime, or lime peel twisty. Enjoy!
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.