Summer is here, and that means cocktails. Margaritas. Mojitos. Mexican beer with lime.
I always like it when we get the citrus in a large 25# box for drinks we make at the restaurant… there is a funny little drawing on the side of the lime box showing how to cut the limes to get the most juice. Strangely enough, hardly anyone ever does it.
Cut the lime like this… (but you’ll cut it all the way through)
I think the best thing about cutting it like this at home is that the edges are perfect for squeezing in guacamole and on chips (then sprinkling with salt and chile), and the core section slides perfectly into your bottle of beer. Of course, there is no way to get 100% of the juice, but this way really allows for a good squeeze.
A few lime tips:
- Buy the heaviest limes you can at the grocery. These suckers are usually pretty expensive, and you certainly want to get the most bang (or juice) for your buck.
- If you think the recipe would be enhanced by the flavor of the zest, by all means use it! I think the zest offers some of the best flavor with any citrus fruit. (I always use a rasp or microplane to zest). I put it almost every recipe that I put the juice in.
- Roll the lime on the counter under your hand a few times to release the juice before you cut. It breaks up the membrane inside the fruit.
- A warmer lime will give up more juice. Use it room temp rather than from the refrigerator. Some people even microwave them for 10 or so seconds. I don’t.
- Use a hand citrus juicer. Put the lime in what looks like backwards. I have seen tons of people use this the wrong way. You want the cut side facing the holes where the juices come out, and the lime gets turned inside out. You can buy expensive ones at a fancy kitchen store, or they come really cheap at a Mexican market. They both make the same margarita!
- Use tongs. Lots of chefs grab a pair of tongs to do the squeezing work. Just position the citrus close to the handle, in between the tongs, and squeeze.
- Use a reamer. These are great and get out a ton of juice.
- Use a fork in the same manner if you don’t have a reamer.
- Use your thumb in the same manner if you don’t have a fork.