It is very odd to find actual lemons in Venezuela, so we refer to both lemons and limes as "limóns." The name of this drink is “Papelón con Limón” but our recipe uses LIMES. I have tried the drink with lemons and it’s not the same; limes are sweeter and less sour.
Also, adjust the number of limes to your taste. My daughter likes more limes and less sweet, but it is too sour for my personal taste. Every family has their own taste. —Magedda Arreaza
Combine the panela with 1 cup of water in a medium pot.
Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the panela has dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium and bring a boil.
Boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the syrup has reduced by about 1/3 and thick enough to a coat a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on it while it cooks; panela syrup is prone to spilling over very quickly.)
When it’s as thick as the consistency of warm maple syrup, remove from the heat and let it rest until it cools completely. Store in a glass jar.
Papelón con Limón-Menta
Cut limes in half and squeeze until you get approximately 3/4 cup of lime juice.
Pour the lime juice into the pitcher, add the water, miel de papelon and stir, add mint and stir.
Let stand for a while, I recommend 1 hour, to absorb the flavor of the mint, before serving. You can strain the mint out if you dislike the texture or, alternately, can also blend into the drink.