Papelón con limón / Aguapanela

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Today I bring you the ultimate summer refreshing drink: Venezuelan Papelón con limón. Only three ingredients + lots of ice. 

Another Venezuelan/Colombian recipe here in the blog — what a surprise! This recipe is the same in both countries just with different names. 

As a Venezuelan myself, I know this drink as papelón con limón and in my multiple trips to Colombia I discovered they called it aguapanela. When I was younger my family loved to spend vacations in Bogotá—such a lovely city. 

This major difference in the name comes because in Venezuela we called the blocks of sugar cane “papelón” and in Colombia they’re called “panela”. 

But it is the exact same recipe. Sugar cane dissolved in water with a lot of lime juice and ice. 

It’s a refreshing and delicious Latin American drink for the summer just like tamarind juice or hibiscus water. 

I’m not a “summer person” but I must say that I truly enjoy spending the summer afternoons in my terrace sipping some papelón con limón. 

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How to make papelón con limón? 

There are two main ways to make aguapanela / papelon con limón. The first one is to boil the sugar cane block in water to dissolve it. Then let it chill and dilute with lemon juice, ice, and more water if needed. It should take from 20 minutes to 30 minutes to dissolve a big 15 oz block. 

The other method is just letting the block dissolve in a jar of water in the fridge overnight. This way is slower, but if I’m not in a hurry, this is my favorite method. 

I usually dissolve the entire sugar cane block into 2 liters of water. This will give an extremely concentrated aguapanela. Now, you have papelón concentrate ready in the fridge. 

You can also cut the block into pieces and dissolve it in small batches. Be careful while cutting the block because it is quite hard to cut.

Then you can reduce with more water, ice and of course… lime juice. Here it comes to personal taste. Whether you like your aguapanela stronger, weaker, or with a lot of lime. 

Personally, I like mine with a strong lime flavor and not so extremely sweet to make it extra refreshing. I use 2 limes per glass. Half of the glass with ice/water and the other half with sugar cane concentrate. 

Simple but delicious!

4.5 from 2 votes
Papelón con limon / Aguapanela
Prep Time
12 hrs
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
12 hrs 5 mins
Today I bring you the ultimate summer refreshing drink: Venezuelan Papelón con limón. Only three ingredients + lots of ice.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Colombian, Venezuelan
Keyword: aguapanela, papelón con limón
Servings: 20 glasses
Calories: 38.6 kcal
  • 1 “panela” (450gr/ 15 oz aprox)
  • 2 liters of water
  • 8 – 10 lemons
  1. Take the panela block to a jar with 2 liters of water. Let it dissolve overnight. This will create a sugar cane concentrate.
  2. Serve 4 individual glasses with ice, pour some sugar cane liquid, and the juice of two limes per glass. Stir.
Nutrition Facts
Papelón con limon / Aguapanela
Amount Per Serving
Calories 38.6
% Daily Value*
Sodium 1.3mg0%
Potassium 63mg2%
Carbohydrates 12.6g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 0.5g1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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