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Lime Juice & Lime Cordials


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#1 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 12:57 PM

I was at the liquor store the other day and in need of lime juice for gimlets, &c. I reached for the Rose's as usual when I noticed that there were a couple of other brands on the shelf. I had never really paid attention before as I always just looked for & purchased the Rose's. I remember Finest Call but can not recall the names of the others. Not being in the mood to experiment I went ahead & bought the Rose's but thought I would ask if any one has done a serious taste test w/ lime juices and is Rose's the best? or are they similar enough not to worry about it? or is there a better one and we just reach for Rose's out of force of habit?

While we are at it. Which one of you snuck in to my house and stole my orange bitters? I had almost half a bottle and it has completely disappeared. I have searched every where and can not find it for the life of me.
Which ever one of you took it please return it as I really do not want to make a trip to the liquor store just for orange bitters & my martinis are just not the same w/o them.

Edited by Lan4Dawg, 11 July 2004 - 01:28 PM.

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#2 beans

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 01:14 PM

:biggrin: It wasn't me!

I'm not a fan of any of the Finest Call mixes and believe that for the rare useage of Rose's lime juice, it is a better brand.

#3 JAZ

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 10:39 PM

I've heard that Angostura's lime cordial is comparable to Rose's, but haven't tried it myself. Every other brand I've tried has been pretty bad (sorry, but I don't remember any of the names -- I've just tasted them in gimlets I've ordered at various bars). I stick with Rose's.

#4 andiesenji

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 07:40 AM

I know this is the Fine Spirits and Cocktails topic, however I would like to add a note about Rose's Lime juice.
I buy it in the industrial-sized bottles, not because I use it in drinks, but because it has become an integral part of my seasoning ensemble. I have found that a dash or two of this potion is great for adding a bit of pizazz to a salad dressing, a marinade, soups, particularly cold soups such as tomato and also carrot.
Yesterday I roasted some figs with cheese and drizzled a bit of the Rose's over some of them an the flavor was excellent. It didn't mask the flavor of the figs but rather enhanced it.

I began using it about 15 years ago when I happened to be out of fresh limes and was making glazed carrots with Marsala. The original recipe called for orange juice and zest.
I liked the lime better and changed the recipe.
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#5 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 09:51 AM

I despise Rose's. To me, the taste of it is an abomination. As I've said elsethread, I have yet to taste a drink made with Rose's that didn't taste better with fresh lime juice and simple syrup.

Orange bitters, however, is good stuff and yes, a bit in a martini goes well.

Cheers,

Squeat

#6 rlibkind

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 09:55 AM

I'm curious. I realize some recipes call specifically for Rose's. But couldn't you just use fresh limes and add sugar or syrup? Especially since for the last month, limes have been riduculously cheap (10 for a $1 at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia; close to that at the Cherry Hill Shop Rite) and of excellent, heavy juice laden quality.
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#7 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 09:58 AM

I'm curious. I realize some recipes call specifically for Rose's. But couldn't you just use fresh limes and add sugar or syrup?

Yes. This is precisely what you should do, even if limes cost $10 each. Throw out your Rose's!

Squeat

#8 DrinkBoy

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 10:20 AM

Two great topics going on here... my input (late as it may be)...

Roses:
There is only a single cocktail who's recipe should include "Rose's", and that one is the "Gimlet". Even for that, I usually prefer to simply use fresh squeezed lime juice and simple syrup, not only does it taste better, but since there is no other reason to have Rose's around, it's far more practical.

In it's day, Rose's was a sort of welcomed addition to the cupboard. Back then fresh limes were harder to find, and so a sturdy bottle of Rose's that would keep well was often better then nothing at all.

But as a "quality" cocktail mixer it really can't compare to the real thing. Nothing grieves me more (ok, a few things) then seeing a bartender use Rose's in a cocktail that normally would have used just fresh lime juice (ie. not even any added sugar). Far too often folks treat Rose's as a substitute for fresh lime juice, even though that is not it's purpose at all.

If you see a recipe that calls for Rose's, do a little more research and see if you can fine versions of this drink that call for fresh lime juice and see if they "also" call for sugar or not. This should help you understand how to make this drink in a more quality minded manner.


Orange Bitters:
As it has been stated by a few already... yes, a "properly" (as in like it was originally) made Martini includes orange bitters. When making them at home, I virtually always include this. And when I happen to drink them when I am out, I almost always have a little vial of home-made orange bitters with me that I can add to my Martini. And when I am out, I will order my Martini "extra wet", which unfortunately is how I need to let the bartender know how to make this so that it has enough dry vermouth in it to actually provide a better "balance" of flavors then how they normally make it.

Originally, virtually any drink in the "Cocktail" category included bitters in one form or another. Back then, there were dozens of different types, and many bartenders even had their own private recipe that they would make up themselves.


As for Peychaud bitters in a Martini...

I recently worked up a special food and cocktail pairing for a restaurant in New Orleans (to be featured at the upcoming "Tales of the Cocktail" event), and for one particular dish I selected a Martini style cocktail (and I mean that in the true sense of the word, and not just a drink served in a "Martini" glass :-) that used Peychaud bitters.

Here is the recipe:

Tillicum
2 1/4 ounces gin
3/4 ounces dry vermouth
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of smoked salmon skewered flat on a pick.

The skewered wafer of smoked salmon is remenicent of the way the Pacific Northwest Indians would cook their salmon around the lodge fires, and so I named it "Tillicum" in their honor. The Peychaud bitters adds a nice "salmon pink" color to the drink.

-Robert

#9 Pan

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 07:44 PM

I despise Rose's. To me, the taste of it is an abomination. As I've said elsethread, I have yet to taste a drink made with Rose's that didn't taste better with fresh lime juice and simple syrup.

I'm glad you said that, and I agree completely.

#10 Bond Girl

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 07:50 PM

I don't know jack shit about cocktail, but recent seminar in Aspen given by Dale DeGroff ordained that only freshly squeezed lime juice should be used. You get more juice from a lime if you cut off the nibs at the end and everyone should have one of those little contraptions that squeeze the juice from the lime. Don't know if this is true, but it's what I heard.
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#11 JAZ

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 08:52 PM

Roses:
There is only a single cocktail who's recipe should include "Rose's", and that one is the "Gimlet". Even for that, I usually prefer to simply use fresh squeezed lime juice and simple syrup, not only does it taste better, but since there is no other reason to have Rose's around, it's far more practical.

In it's day, Rose's was a sort of welcomed addition to the cupboard. Back then fresh limes were harder to find, and so a sturdy bottle of Rose's that would keep well was often better then nothing at all.

But as a "quality" cocktail mixer it really can't compare to the real thing. Nothing grieves me more (ok, a few things) then seeing a bartender use Rose's in a cocktail that normally would have used just fresh lime juice (ie. not even any added sugar).

That's where I disagree. To me, that's like saying that fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and vodka is better than limoncello. The mixture would certainly taste more like fresh lemons, but it's not better because of it, just different.

It's the same with Rose's. I completely agree that Rose's is no substitute for fresh lime juice, but that point cuts both ways -- fresh juice, with or without simple syrup, is no substitute for Rose's. I agree that for almost all cocktails, fresh lime is a necessity. But I can't agree that a Gimlet is better with fresh juice. I can't even agree that it's a Gimlet, although it's an okay drink on its own.

You can't just substitute fresh lime and simple syrup and call the resulting drink a Gimlet. Or can you? I don't know nearly as much about cocktail history as you and Splificator and Dr. Cocktail, but from everything I've read, it seems that Gimlets call for lime cordial. That being the case, wouldn't a drink with gin, fresh lime and simple syrup would have to be called something else?

Incidentally, I do think that a little Rose's goes a long way (but that can be said of many cocktail ingredients). My Gimlet recipe is 2 oz. gin, 1/4 oz. Rose's and 1/4 oz. of fresh lime juice (shaken together with the gin and Rose's, and not just squeezed in at the end). For tequila Gimlets, I use more Rose's -- almost half an ounce.

#12 Pan

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 08:55 PM

I seem to remember looking at the ingredients panel of Rose's and seeing a bunch of artificial ingredients. Was that a false memory?

P.S. It sure is a lousy substitute for lime juice. Almost reminds me of the difference between "Realemon" and lemon juice. Am I off the wall on this, or do I perhaps have a false memory of this as well?

Edited by Pan, 12 July 2004 - 09:06 PM.


#13 JAZ

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Posted 12 July 2004 - 09:22 PM

I seem to remember looking at the ingredients panel of Rose's and seeing a bunch of artificial ingredients. Was that a false memory?

P.S. It sure is a lousy substitute for lime juice. Almost reminds me of the difference between "Realemon" and lemon juice. Am I off the wall on this, or do I perhaps have a false memory of this as well?

It's got a preservative, if that makes it artificial. Otherwise, it's water, concentrated lime juice and high fructose corn syrup.

And of course it's not a substitute for lime juice, any more than limoncello is a substitute for lemon juice, or blackberry cordial is for fresh blackberries.

#14 beans

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 12:02 AM

P.S. It sure is a lousy substitute for lime juice. Almost reminds me of the difference between "Realemon" and lemon juice. Am I off the wall on this, or do I perhaps have a false memory of this as well?

Ironic, but Realemon is also manufactured by Motts -- the "licensed producer" of Rose's Lime Juice.


I did a bit of reading up on the Gimlet. It appears as though the older, more "original" recipes called for sweetened lime juice and eventually changed to listing Rose's Lime Juice by name. I sort of guess it is similar to calling all adhesive bandages, regardless of brand, as bandaids -- when a brand name becomes synonymous with its product.

#15 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 12:19 AM

So, when was the Gimlet created? What was the original recipe? Did it call for fresh lime juice? I'm truly curious, which is why I asked DrinkBoy about it.

Janet, you had me doubting myself, and I thought for a moment you might be right about gimlets and Rose's, i.e. that they were somehow intrinsically connected. But now I think not, and suspect that drinkboy is more on the mark about Rose's having filled a void of available fresh limes.

My "go-to" reference, Collin's "Second College Edition" of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language defines 'gimlet' as "a small boring tool" (but enough about me), and secondarily as "a cocktail made of lime juice, gin, sugar, and soda". American Heritage@dictionary.com gives "A cocktail made with vodka or gin, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes effervescent water and garnished with a slice of lime." Princeton (via WordNet, also at dictionary.com) gives "gin or vodka and lime juice".

So it seems clear that the cocktail doesn't require the marketed concoction. I'd suggest a simple taste comparison: take a fresh lime and squeeze the juice into a small container, pour some simple syrup on it, and give it a minute or two at room temperature. Sip it, take a drink of water, and then sip some Rose's. Which would you rather have in your gimlet?

Cheers,

Squeat

#16 toni guy

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 02:13 AM

+1 for anti-rose's.
drinking anything with rose's in it reminds me of those "kamikaze" shots at some all-you-can-drink club in tj. yummy.

#17 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 04:54 AM

okay, now back to the original question......

We agree that fresh lime juice & simple syrup is better than Rose's or a Rose's substitute BUT: if you need to purchase a sweetened lime juice product for what ever reason should you buy Rose's--eschewing all others--or are there acceptable substitutes?
Beans votes against Finest Call brand and we know that there are other brands out there including one made by the Angostura folks.....
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#18 slkinsey

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:24 AM

Re the history of the gimlet: If we suppose it is true that the Gimlet came from the Royal Navy, then it is almost certainly the case that it was made with lime cordial rather than fresh limes. From the Mott's web site, we have:

Lauchlin Rose (1829-1885) a descendent of a prominent family of Scottish ship builders, founded L. Rose & Company in Leith, Edinburgh in 1865. Describing himself as a "lime and lemon juice merchant," he combined a keen business sense with his knowledge of the sea. Scurvy, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, had been the scourge of sailors since the early days of sailing ships. To prevent "this most terrible of the diseases of maritime life," a supply of lime or lemon juice preserved with 15% of rum, generally was boarded for long voyages. In 1867, Lauchlin developed and patented a process that effectively prevented fermentation and preserved fruit juice without alcohol. The same year, the Merchant Shipping Act was passed, whereby all vessels, Royal Navy and Merchant, were required to carry lime juice for a daily ration to ships' company. It was this enactment that resulted in British sailors being called "limeys" and brought about a sales volume boost for this new L. Rose & Company business. From Cape Town in Singapore, from Bombay to Belize, Rose's literally sailed the seven seas.

I'm not sure when the gimlet was formulated -- and, indeed, it is likely impossible to know -- but given its long association with Rose's it strikes me as highly probable that it was among the original ingredients. Despite his preference for Rose's, by the way, the recipe on Drinkboy's own web site calls for Rose's.
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#19 JAZ

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 08:45 AM

My "go-to" reference, Collin's "Second College Edition" of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language defines 'gimlet' as "a small boring tool" (but enough about me), and secondarily as "a cocktail made of lime juice, gin, sugar, and soda". American Heritage@dictionary.com gives "A cocktail made with vodka or gin, sweetened lime juice, and sometimes effervescent water and garnished with a slice of lime." Princeton (via WordNet, also at dictionary.com) gives "gin or vodka and lime juice".

Sorry, Squeat, who're you going to believe, a couple of dictionaries, or cocktail books? :raz:

Seriously, all of the cocktail books I have, including Dale DeGroff's (despite his apparent disdain of Rose's, as noted above by Bond Girl), specify Rose's or "lime cordial (such as Rose's)" in their ingredients. DeGroff specifically says, "Be careful about switching fresh lime juice for Rose's lime juice; real Gimlet drinkers want the taste of the preserved lime juice. When the drink is made with fresh lime juice and sugar, it is a sweet Gin Rickey, not a Gimlet."

Paul Harrington calls the drink with fresh lime a "Gimblet" -- although I've ever heard that term elsewhere, and I'm not sure about where it came from.

(And incidentally, your dictionaries are incorrect about the soda too -- seems to me that they've got Gimlets and Rickeys mixed up.)

I'd suggest a simple taste comparison: take a fresh lime and squeeze the juice into a small container, pour some simple syrup on it, and give it a minute or two at room temperature. Sip it, take a drink of water, and then sip some Rose's. Which would you rather have in your gimlet?


That's easy. Rose's.

#20 Stigand

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 09:19 AM

I'm neither a cocktail expert nor a historian of the C19th Royal Navy, so forgive my idle speculation.

If we're debating whether the original Gimlet was made with Roses or equivalent or real lime juice, it might be worth asking at what point gin (or vodka) and fresh limes became commonly available in the same place.

My impression is that gin was first and foremost the cheap firewater of England (and, in a different version, the Netherlands) - consider Hogarth's Gin Lane. And it's pretty tough to grow limes in England. But when they were stationed in lime-growing areas (such as the West Indies), HM ships would have been carrying rum. So while fresh lime juice probably found its way into plenty of proto-rum-punches, it seems less obvious that it would have been mixed with gin - at least not until more recent times when gin became a branded, exported product rather than just our local English firewater.

Despite all that, I do prefer fresh lime juice in cocktails, even though it may be inauthentic. :smile:

Edited by Stigand, 13 July 2004 - 09:21 AM.


#21 Libationgoddess

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 12:08 PM

Simple syrup can, but does not need to be cooked for bar use.

Take a clean soda bottle (8oz is fine). Fill it half-way with sugar.
Fill the other half with water. Cap. Shake well. Let settle.
This takes 5 minutes.
Shake 2 more times until syrup is clear.

Zest of 1 lime, and add that to the bottled syrup. Save lime.
Cap, and give a light shake. Put directly into fridge.

Do not cut lime until the next day.

Next day, strain lime syrup, and then put back into bottle.
Juice lime.
Add lime syrup to taste.

I have to use Roses at Bemelmans, because again, it's that funky flavor that
the guests are looking for when they order them. But I always hated that faux,
pineapple thing going on in the back of the finish...

Audrey

#22 slkinsey

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 01:36 PM

One main difference, to my taste, between Rose's and anything with fresh lime juice is that the fresh citruc juice is much more acidic. Like most people here, I use fresh in any cocktail other than a gin gimlet. I'm inclined to use fresh lime juice in gimlet-like cocktails, but they don't strike me as gimlets then so much as gimlet-inspired drinks. So, I guess that means that I usually drink gimlet knockoffs (I like gin, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and a whisper of Ricard).
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#23 JAZ

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Posted 13 July 2004 - 11:19 PM

Simple syrup can, but does not need to be cooked for bar use.

Take a clean soda bottle (8oz is fine). Fill it half-way with sugar.
Fill the other half with water. Cap. Shake well. Let settle.
This takes 5 minutes.
Shake 2 more times until syrup is clear.

Zest of 1 lime, and add that to the bottled syrup. Save lime.
Cap, and give a light shake. Put directly into fridge.

Do not cut lime until the next day.

Next day, strain lime syrup, and then put back into bottle.
Juice lime.
Add lime syrup to taste.

Audrey, this sounds interesting. I have a couple of questions, though:

Is there any difference in texture or taste between "cooked" and "uncooked" syrup?

Do you add the lime juice to the lime infused syrup, or just use them together?

If you do add the juice to the syrup, when do you do it?

What's the shelf life?

I'm one of the few here who like Rose's, but it is too sweet on its own for my taste -- I add about the same amount of fresh lime juice to it to get the acidity level I like. So if your syrup approximates Rose's but can be made less sweet, I'd like to give it a try.

Thanks.

#24 Chef Shogun

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:50 PM

Re: Gimlet and fresh lime juice.

Think I mentioned this one in the "Crimes Against Alcohol" thread, but a friend of mine makes the worst drinks known to man, and his 'signature' drink is the vodka gimlet. For a while, all our parties were at his place, and the words "Want a drink? I'll make some gimlets!" became the most dangerous in the English language (Perhaps even in other languages).

After a few events of these Zelko-and-Rose's abominations, I decided that he probably didn't know what he was doing, and researched this gimlet business a bit. Webtender suggested fresh lime and powdered sugar, of all things, and this didn't go so well. It occurs to me at this late junction that it might have been the industrial solvent grade well vodka that remained a constant had a role. Gimlet Factoid: lots of vodka plus lots of Rose's does not nessesarily equal big Gimlet. It equals nastyness.

In conclusion, I am still bitter about being asked to buy about $16 worth of Rose's for our reasonably successful housewarming party, in which none of it was even used.

What was the question again? *scrolls to the top of the thread*

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#25 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:20 PM

Good point there about the cost. Lime juice + simple syrup costs a lot less and tastes better. So what if the "correct" gimlet includes Rose's or not? Use fresh ingredients and call it an eGimlet. :laugh:

#26 Chef Shogun

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:30 PM

Use fresh ingredients and call it an eGimlet. :laugh:

I'd be careful, if it's still lime green Apple Computer will be all over you.

I must say, for some reason the fresh lime + syrup gimlet never occured to me until this thread (or at least some thread here). Sounds like it would be pretty good.
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#27 scamhi

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:39 PM

not a fan- for or against Roses.
It does keep a drink clear as opposed to fresh lime juice which will cloud a drink.

Edited by scamhi, 14 July 2004 - 02:40 PM.


#28 trillium

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:39 PM

The question was whether or not Rose's Lime was the best brand or if there were others out there. The general opinion seems to be that Rose's is the best brand.

It has also been established in this thread and others that some people like the taste of Rose's in a gimlet (JAZ), and some people really don't (beans). Since this war of the roses has even spawned a sig file, I'm very tempted to go out and buy a bottle and taste a gimlet for myself. I'll make sure it's not the $16 bottle and I'll let you know if I catch any of those little gimlets doing the old in and out.

regards,
trillium

#29 cdh

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 03:09 PM

I've always thought of Rose's as a thing unto itself. Not lime juice, not an acceptable substitute for lime juice, but a unique and unreplaceable concoction. I've been disgusted by margaritas I've been given that used Rose's... a travesty. :wacko:

A gin and lime and syrup drink might be mighty tasty, and I love the eGimlet moniker, but if I ordered a Gimlet and got an eGimlet without any offers of an upgrade from the mixologist I'd be surprised.

As to substitutes for Rose's, I had no idea that anything came close to it other than the baffling set of slightly different Rose's products out there on the market. There is supermarket Rose's Lime Juice... and the 1% alcohol liquor store Rose's, and then there is Rose's Lime Cordial, which appears strangely dark colored... There may even be more. One of my favorite Rose's products is their lime marmalade... which is sadly not readily available in the U.S., but quite delicious on toast... or so I thought while in boarding school in England a long time ago.
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#30 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 03:13 PM

The question was whether or not Rose's Lime was the best brand or if there were others out there.  The general opinion seems to be that Rose's is the best brand. 

It has also been established in this thread and others that some people like the taste of Rose's in a gimlet (JAZ), and some people really don't (beans).  Since this war of the roses has even spawned a sig file, I'm very tempted to go out and buy a bottle and taste a gimlet for myself.  I'll make sure it's not the $16 bottle and I'll let you know if I catch any of those little gimlets doing the old in and out.

regards,
trillium

thx Trillium, & to think when I started I thought it was such a simple question.

edited to add that I still have not found my orange bitters

Edited by Lan4Dawg, 14 July 2004 - 03:14 PM.

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