Nimbu Pani (Indian Spiced Lemonade)

Nimbu Pani is an Indian lemonade made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, cumin, and salt. This refreshing summer drink can easily be made into a cocktail by adding gin or vodka to your glass. 

pitcher of nimbu pani next to glass
Photo by Jennifer McGovern

Nimbu pani is a fresh lemonade recipe that’s enhanced with Indian spices like cumin and cardamom seeds. It’s as easy to make as the homemade lemonade your mom made you as a kid, but it has that extra bit of flavor that you’re bound to love. Nimbu pani is a great drink to bring to family dinners, potlucks, and barbecues, as it pairs well with almost any dish!

Nimbu Pani Ingredients

To make nimbu pani, you’ll need the following key ingredients:

  • Simple syrup (water and sugar)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • Cold water
  • Toasted and crushed cumin seeds
  • Flaky sea salt

You can also garnish your beverage with fresh mint, basil, or lemon verbena leaves, but nimbu pani is delicious as is!

lemon slice, halved limes, and lemon verbena leave in white bowl

How to Make Nimbu Pani

Making nimbu pani at home couldn’t be easier! You’ll first need to make simple syrup by combining equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and heating until the sugar is dissolved. Then, add the lemon or lime juice and cold water to a large pitcher. Add however much simple syrup you want, then stir in the cumin and sea salt if you’re using them.

Pour the cold spiced lemonade into a glass and garnish as desired. You can also rim the glass with salt to amp up this drink.

Nimbu Pani Variations

To switch up the flavor of this nimbu pani, you could make a flavored simple syrup. This will subtly alter the flavor of the Indian lemonade without changing it completely. I enjoy adding cardamom seeds and lemon verbena leaves to my simple syrup, but cumin seeds would also work nicely.

And if you have leftover lemonade, you can easily transform it into popsicles. Simply pour the nimbu pani into popsicle molds or freezer-safe cups and freeze them for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, the popsicles will be solid enough for you to add the popsicle sticks. Let the lemonade popsicles freeze overnight before enjoying them.

glass of nimbu pani rimmed with salt
Photo by Jennifer McGovern

Tips for the Best Nimbu Pani

  • Instead of adding salt to the lemonade, try rimming the glass with flaky sea salt.
  • Pour some of the spiced lemonade into ice cube trays and freeze. Use these ice cubes in the nimbu pani to prevent it from becoming diluted.
  • Nimbu pani can be made with either lemon or lime juice. Just make sure to squeeze the juice yourself for the best flavor.
  • To turn your Indian lemonade into a cocktail, add a shot of vodka or gin into your glass and give it a good stir.

More Indian Drink Recipes:

Nimbu Pani

Nimbu Pani is an Indian lemonade made with lemon, cumin, and salt. This refreshing summer drink can easily be made into a cocktail by adding gin or vodka the your glass. 
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Keyword lemonade, nimbu pani
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Nimbu Pani

  • simple syrup , to taste
  • 1 cup lemon or lime juice , freshly squeezed
  • 4 cups cold water
  • cumin seeds , toasted and crushed (optional)
  • sea salt flakes , for rimming glass (optional)


  • Fresh mint , optional
  • Fresh lemon verbena , optional
  • Fresh basil , optional


Make Simple Syrup

  • Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent the mixture from crystallizing. Stir and let cook just until sugar dissolves. Let cool.

Make Nimbu Pani

  • Combine lime or lemon juice and water. Stir in simple syrup to taste. 
  • Run a lime or lemon wedge around rim of a glass, rim with salt and pour nimbu pani over ice cubes in glass. Serve cold and garnish with fresh mint, lemon verbena, or basil leaves,  if desired.


  • Variations: Add cardamom seeds or fresh lemon verbena leaves to the simple syrup. 
  • For hard Nimbu Pani: Add gin or vodka, and a cucumber slice as garnish.
  • For popsicles: Pour lemonade into popsicle molds or paper cups. Freeze for at least 1 hour 30 minutes before placing sticks in the mixture. Place back in freezer until frozen.

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