If you haven’t noticed, we’re going through a bit of a lime crisis right now. Because of a shortage in Mexico, prices of the citrus fruit have soared in recent months. Just walk into most delis, and you’ll see a plethora of lemons but probably only a few sad, shriveled limes. And even though we’re finally getting limes instead of lemons with our tacos (yes, that actually was a thing), they can still be hard to come by depending where you live. So we asked some of our favorite liquor brands and mixologists to fill us in on what they’re using in cocktails as lime substitutes.
We all love a tequila shot now and then, but it can be a challenge to get down without a lime if you’re not a seasoned drinker of the spirit. Hornitos combines the tequila + lime + salt ritual into one step with Lime Shot. Now you can take the shot with ease, no lime slice needed.
Michael Fragoso of No. 8 in NYC said they’ve been using new and interesting ingredients to create cocktails that aren’t citrus based, one being WTRMLN WTR. “The Watermelon Martini was a signature drink from the original Bungalow 8 and continues to be the number one seller for us,” Fragoso said. “WTRMLN WTR takes all the fuss out of doing it in house and bottles it in a fresh, pure and awesome package, making it something we can pair with any base spirit on our menu for something refreshing.”
Hendrick’s Gin recently launched the campaign “Save a Lime, Use a Cucumber” to encourage imbibers to refresh their cocktails differently. “The lime shortage was undoubtedly rough, but it was a great chance for bartenders to experiment and explore other garnish options, such as the lovely cucumber,” Jim Ryan, National Brand Ambassador for Hendrick’s, said. Their Cucumber Gin Lemonade uses fresh lemon juice and a cucumber spear for the perfect summer drink. The mixologists at Caliche Rum had the same good idea, switching out lime juice for lemon and grapefruit to remix the classic mojito.
We found that pouring a great flavored liquor on the rocks is another wonderful way to get buzzed without any slicing necessary. Grey Goose just launched their Le Melon vodka, infused with 100% Cavaillon melons, a sweet fruit with a peak season of only two months in the South of France. Legend has it artists and kings traded their treasure for the melon’s precious seeds, and we don’t doubt it – Le Melon is one of the best vodkas we’ve tasted in a long time. If you’re still struggling to find ripe limes, check out some of the refreshing cocktail recipes below. You’ll soon forget these drinks even needed them at all.
Combine ingredients in a long glass. Add ice, top with sparkling water, give a gentle stir and garnish with a cucumber spear.
In a rocks glass, combine all ingredients, then lightly muddle mint leaves. Top with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.