Thursday, May 1, 2014

What About This Lime Shortage?

      The Mexican lime crop has been plagued by harsh wind and heavy rainthis season.  Add to all of that, one of the most serious agricultural diseases in the world – Huanglongbing , a disease spread by tiny flying insects, the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Trees that have been infected by this disease produce fruit that is hard, bitter and misshapen. This disease will kill the trees within a couple of years.   In the U.S., which receives more than 95% of its limes from Mexico, the lime shortage has caused the limes to rise from about $.29 each to costing as much as $1.30 each compared to one year ago based on U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.

      Part of the  cause for the shortage can be traced to the central state of Michoacan, home to the world's biggest supplier of limes and current site of a bloody war between citizen self-defense groups and the violent Knights Templar cartel.   There has been hijacking of lime trucks by cartel members which have slowed exports ta a near standstill, coupled this with farmers refusing to pay “protection fees” to Knights Templar enforcers.   Heavy winds, rains and a tree disease afflicting the area hasn’t helped the problem either.

     The food and alcohol service industry is being hit hard with the cost of the limes rising so quickly.  Many bars have quit putting limes on cocktails and stopped serving cocktails that require fresh lime.

      Some tips for surviving the lime shortage like using a different garnish other than a lime.  They are not the only garnish available, try cucumbers, lemons, oranges or a cherry as garnishes instead.     Sometimes a new and original garnish may put new excitement in your cocktails.


Bahama Bob’s “Limeless” Daiquiri

·         3 oz. Brinley’s Shipwreck Lime Rum

·         ½ oz.  Agave Nectar

·         ½ oz.  Luxardo Marachino Liqueur

Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shale until chilled and strain into a chilled Martini Glass and garnish with bitter orange zest. 

   You can replace the white rum with a lime flavored rum for many of the cocktails in order to avoid the cost of the skyrocketing limes.   Many times the use of a citrus zest will add the flavor you are seeking in the cocktails you no longer can afford to put lime in.   ;o)