Lime, a citrus fruit originating from India and Malaysia, has become an essential ingredient in the world of cocktails. Cocktail enthusiasts can thank the conquistadors who imported lime to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the 15th century, allowing this citrus fruit to spread throughout the Americas.
Lime is often confused with an unripe yellow lemon, but it actually comes from a different variety: the lime tree. Smaller than yellow lemons, it has a green skin, pale green pulp, and a very acidic and distinctive tasting juice.
The benefits of lime
The versatility of lime in cocktails
Flavors and culinary uses
Varieties of lime and their uses
Two varieties of lime dominate the market: the "small-fruited" variety originating from Mexico, and the "large-fruited" variety from Tahiti or Persia. Persian lime, in particular, is the most used variety in contemporary cocktails due to its size, thick skin, and juice content.
The smaller and more acidic Key Lime also deserves a place in bars. Its strong acidity balances cocktails containing liqueurs, syrups, or rich purees. It is important to note that the use of Key Limes may require a modification of traditional ratios due to their higher acidity.
Selection of cocktails with the recommended type of lime
|Cocktail||Recommended Lime Type||Reason|
|Mojito||Persian lime||Perfect for balancing the sweetness of sugar and the freshness of mint with moderate acidity.|
|Caïpirinha||Persian lime||Its moderate acidity goes well with the sweetness of cachaça.|
|Margarita||Mixture of Persian and Key Lime||The acidity of Key Lime and the texture of Persian lime bring perfect balance.|
|Daiquiri||Persian lime||Moderate acidity that harmonizes with rum and sugar to create a pleasant balance.|
|Whiskey Sour||Lemon||The milder acidity of lemon works well with the warmth of whiskey.|
|Tom Collins||Lemon||Lemon brings a sweet and light acidity that pairs well with gin and soda.|
|Mai Tai||Key Lime||Its higher acidity balances the rich flavors of other ingredients.|
|Moscow Mule||Persian lime||Moderate acidity goes well with vodka and ginger beer for a refreshing cocktail.|
|Cosmopolitan||Persian lime||The tangy flavor of Persian lime adds an elegant touch to the vodka and cranberry mix.|
This table presents a selection of cocktails with the recommended type of lime and the reason for this choice. Of course, personal preferences may vary, and it can be interesting to experiment with different types of limes to discover new flavor combinations.