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Lime Shortage

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Most of mine have had the juice of sandbags of late~


Went from 25 cents to 90 cents each here. Even Costco was out, now they have bags of Persian limes the size of key limes.

I am stocking up on the organic bottled juice. It mixes well and should still be the same price for a while.

The article said they expect the situation to improve in May.

The circle is now complete. Join me on the dry side of the Mai Tai...

Three things:

  1. This could spur innovation in the cocktail world.
  2. Glad I had the foresight to "squeeze & freeze" quite a bit of lime juice.
  3. Glad I can grow my own limes, so no shortage or exorbitant high prices for me and my home bar! (Neener neener!)

On point number 2, I think it's more likely to spur places to start using artificial lime juice if it goes on long enough.


Well in hopefully 3-4 years my lime tree will start producing fruit and then I'LL control the industry! Of my house.


On 2014-03-26 11:49, thePorpoise wrote:
The circle is now complete. Join me on the dry side of the Mai Tai...

On 2014-03-26 11:02, TikiTacky wrote:
The article said they expect the situation to improve in May.

We'll declare it the month of May Tai!

I am not a fan of this lime shortage!!! Limes are now 80 cent each for small little ones. I will have to fertilize my tree so that I have some. Bummer!

The local ranch market (my regular source for fresh limes)
raised the price from 39 cents a pound to $2.89!


Would you lot stop your whining? When it's season and i'm lucky it's 3 for a $1. Generally it's more and $1.50 a piece is standard.


Looks like Chief Lapu Lapus for everyone! NLR*

*No Limes Required :wink:

This article made it to the top 10 of the MSN news page this evening:


SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Mexican restaurants in the United States are being squeezed by a sudden jump in the price of limes, an essential ingredient, which has led managers in places like San Antonio that are a hotbed for the cuisine to alter recipes.

"Mexico received some heavy rains that destroyed a large amount of the lime crop, so with limited supplies we are seeing lime prices skyrocket," Bryan Black, director of communications for the Texas Department of Agriculture, said on Thursday.

Texas like most U.S. states receives most of their limes from Mexico.

John Berry, who runs La Fonda, a prominent Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, said on Thursday the price he pays for a case of limes has jumped to nearly $100 from $14 last year.

"Real simple," Berry said. "We don't buy them. We substitute lemons."

Limes are used in guacamole and to garnish beers.

Serving a margarita without a lime garnish is burning at the heart of Louis Barrios, who runs the family-owned Mexican restaurant chain "Los Barrios." But he's doing without.

"Ninety nine percent of the time, people don't squeeze it into the margarita anyway," Barrios says.

A combination of factors has prompted the spike in lime prices. Most limes consumed in the United States come from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Colima, and Guerrero, which have been hit by an unusual combination of cold weather and flooding, wholesalers said.

Shipments have also been disrupted by violence attributed to drug gangs, they said.

The high prices are not expected to end any time soon, according to wholesalers.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Between this post, and my seeing Costco being out a couple of times lately, the ironically sobering reality has hit me: I must take action! So Costco had a decent supply of limes this last trip, though the price has increased by 50% (from $6 to $9). I picked up three bags, to squeeze and freeze. I may have burned out my little home juicer doing all of these at once. Plus, they had lime trees there too! So for long term piece of mind, I picked one of those up too...The juice must flow!

I bought limes here in Cincinnati last Saturday at Kroger (owners of Ralphs for you West Coasters) for 3/$1. Today, a mere week later, I went to three different Krogers and didn't find any limes at all. I finally found small limes at a green grocer priced 70 cents each. I bought a bunch because it's Saturday and I've gotta get my Tiki on, but man what a kick in the head.

[ Edited by: GentleHangman 2014-04-01 13:10 ]

On 2014-03-29 16:28, Loki-Tiki wrote:
...I picked up three bags, to squeeze and freeze.
...they had lime trees there too! So for long term piece of mind, I picked one of those up too...The juice must flow!

Bravo, Loki-Tiki! Squeeze-and-freeze works well. Growing your own rocks!

"Have limes - will travel, er, will TIKI!"


From the articles this is a Mexican lime shortage?

Most limes in the UK are from Brazil, if this was a Brazillian shortage I would be miffed! I rarely see Mexican limes but when I do they are tougher & in less well condition. I buy them & make something with tequila :wink:

I suppose the thing to do cut back on the lime drinks? Branch out to lemon?

Blue Hawaiis, Dons Own Planters, Hurricanes, London Sours, Painkillers, Saturns & Tradewinds are all good too!

It will most likely affect your prices too since the demand will pull on Brazilian farms which in turn will make the UK have to either spend more or end up with no limes.

77 cents per lime. Not a terrible price for up here, but I'm used to 33 cents each.

[ Edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2014-04-01 22:33 ]

Swanky posted on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 7:11 AM

Nellie and Joe's Key Lime is not a good sub for Persian Lime. It works in a pinch, but not equal. You have to use less.

My advice stands: Go to the natural foods section or whatever they call it and find the organic lime juice bottled. I have used it for a while as a back-up and always for the lemon as I don't keep lemons on hand usually. Stock up now as even this stuff will go sky high once the shelf stock turns.

I also found some HUGE lemons in the organic food market. They were 99 cents, but each produced over 2 ounces of juice, so it was a deal.

Hey Swanky,
I’m gonna take your tip and try some soon.
I have a 4 yr old dwarf persian lime tree that cannot keep up with my demand. When I’m expecting guests I buy my citrus at “ethnic “ Super’s but they’re also getting a bit expensive.

The lime situation in these parts is better this week. Kroger has plenty of big limes priced 2/99 cents.

3 summers ago I was getting em at a local produce stand at 6 lb’s for a dollar.
2 summers ago they were 3 lb’s for a dollar.
Last summer they were 69 cents a pound.
Hasn’t slowed my Mai Tai comsumption one bit.


While scouring past threads, I've seen various Lime substitutes posted here(half lime concentrate, half fresh lemon, Kiwi,Rose's, etc). My question is: Is there something that can be added to lemons to make them more...lime-like? Bitters of some type? Also would you advise to scale lemon juice up, down, or keep the same amounts as lime juice in a drink recipe?


Is the lime scare over? I noticed yesterday that Rubio's is stocking limes again at its salsa bar (they'd been using lemons instead for a few weeks).

It's still going on.

My friend from TJ says that in Mexico they do not distinguish between lemons and limes. They call them citrus and interchange them in all of their drinks and foods. That may be why Rubios used lemons, they may not have been able to find limes but that is just speculation.

I still have not found a great source here in SD, but I feel like we may get them first since we are so close. I think the shortage will last a couple more months at least.


This is terrible.

But, trying to make the most of the situation, I am learning more drink recipes that don't use limes.

I don't think we will ever find a suitable substitute for a good fresh lime.

This will pass.

That disaster will pass, but there is the very real threat of huánglóngbìng looming on the horizon. Think of it like HIV for citrus, new cultivars are in the works but as there is no way to stop the spread of the disease, you may end up seeing shortages while things change over.

Grab the biggest ones H10!

It always seems to me that the smaller ones have more juice...

I’m no expert but I always like the plump, smooth skinned bright green ones. “Superior” market in La Mirada, California has em at 2.99 a pound. i bought 4 nice ones for 1.55.
After I finished my 2nd Mai Tai I wished I had bought more.

It's the heavier ones that have more juice.


Choose your citrus, limes especially by their complexion and size. You want to get the biggest and smoothest ones. The more wrinkled and mottled the skin, the thicker the skin and the less juice.

Give'em a little squeeze too!

If they feel really firm or hard, they are going to be 'dry.'

If they give a little bit, they will have more juice.

If they feel really soft, give them a sniff because they may be about to go bad. And one lime going bad will turn the whole bowl bad in really short order.

Oh, and aim for the lighter colored limes. The darker the green, the younger the fruit.

[ Edited by: Chip and Andy 2014-04-10 07:31 ]


25 cents each at Walmart today which was nice.. Not a huge pile to choose from but better then 69 cents at my local Sprouts which was the price last week..

There's a Lime Shortage in America, And the Reason Is Straight Out of a 'Breaking Bad' Episode


Here in Cincinnati its tiny limes for a lot of coin:

Here in Cincinnati its tiny limes for a lot of coin:

Just paid $13 for limes just to make a batch of margaritas. Normally would have cost me $2. $3.99 a pound here instead of 25 cents each.

Getting higher:

Dagg posted on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 1:13 PM

If you soak small lemons in blue food color and water will they turn green? :lol: You can use them to garnish the drinks of your less savvy friends and keep the real limes for yourself :D

Just serve lemons and tell them Vic/Berry/Jebus/etc would have wanted it that way, if they question further confiscate their drink and ban them from the bar. :D

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