Many of the most popular classic mixed drinks are lime cocktails. The classic daiquiri, gimlet, margarita and mojito all have one thing in common: they’re made with lime.This humble fruit powers some of the most iconic alcoholic drinks there are.
Limes are sweeter and less acidic than lemons, but like lemons, you'll find one major variety in supermarkets: the Persian lime. The next most common is the tiny Key lime, which grows well beyond the Florida Keys and if you’re in South Asia and the Pacific you've got sweet limes, a.k.a. Citrus limetta. These limes start-off green-skinned but ripen to yellow, and become sweet.
Thai Limes (Manao)
Thai lime is a core ingredient across many of the East Imperial range of tonic waters and mixers, giving a subtle sweetness and zesty citrus notes to our collection of beverages.
Interestingly, in Thailand there is sometimes a confusion in the use of English terminology among Thai people, and limes are erroneously referred to as lemons. (The Thai word for lime is manao.) It has been speculated that the reason for this is that the first westerners to translate local language into English did not know what limes were and called them lemons since they are sour like lemons. As a result, lemon has stuck and lime doesn't exist in Thai people's English vocabulary; therefore, in present-day recipe exchanges with English-speaking peoples, the mistaken term "lemon" is sometimes used. Limes have a much more intensely sour and zesty flavour than lemons, and although they may be substituted with the latter, the results definitely lack the vigor of limes.
Lime is great in cocktails
If you can think of a timeless classic cocktail, it probably includes lime. And if not, there’s probably a version that does feature the fruit. There are plenty of options, including:
- The Daiquiri is the simplest: rum, lime juice, and some simple syrup for sweetness.
- A Cuban Mojito is a refreshing hot-weather drink with mint, lime, rum, and club soda.
- A combination of rum, lime, and cola yields another Cuban favourite, the Cuba Libre.
- The classic Mai Tai adds Grand Marnier and Orgeat syrup.
If you're not a rum fan, you can add lime to just about any other mix. The classic margarita combines lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur over ice. Or, you can add lime to gin for a Gin Rickey. If you like vodka, combine it with lime and ginger beer for a tasty Moscow Mule.
Sources through East Asia: These varieties originate from the East & West of India, but are found throughout Micronesia, Thailand, Indonesia & The Malay Archipelago
Traditional Uses: Scurvy Preventative, vitamin C source, Acidifier in classic sour drinks, additive in fresh food and used as a seasoning
Exerted flavour profile: Acidifier, sourness, fresh fruit and body