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Lan4Dawg

Lime Juice & Lime Cordials

79 posts in this topic

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.


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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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 (log)

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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

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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.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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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 (log)

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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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).

slkinsey, you're pretty much my hero. But..

I gotta say, I *always* use Rose's lime in a gimlet. It's the only place where the stuff isn't foul, and in fact I don't LIKE a gimlet made with fresh lime juice. My wife and I are cocktail lovers, and always have fresh limes in the fridge, so it's not a convenience thing. I'll gladly pull out the lemons to make a proper Aviation or the limes to make a delicious Margarita, but for a gimlet I think Rose's lime really hits the spot. No, it's not lime-y except in a "Live Saver's" kind of way. To me, it tastes like lime Jell-O.

Off topic, I also think Rose's lime makes a really great addition to salsa verde. Try it sometime. I promise.


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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slkinsey, you're pretty much my hero.

:blush:

But..

:angry:

I gotta say, I *always* use Rose's lime in a gimlet.

Oh, I do too. But I also like gimlet-like drinks made with fresh lime juice (such as the abovementioned drink with a touch of Ricard). Since I have a friend who doesn't really like any cocktail other than vodka gimlets (although she's a spectacularly good sport with respect to trying new cocktails), I always make a point of having plenty of Rose's around.

The question was whether or not Rose's Lime was the best brand or if there were others out there.

Yea, I'd say. They've pretty much cornered the market on the stuff for almost 140 years, and were likely the product used in the original gimlet if the British nautical origin is believed (and, given that Rose's was originally developed for nautical use, I have a good feeling about that story), so I'd say they're the go-to guys.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Hi Janet,

Cold-infusing the lime syrup maintains a bright, lovely, lime flavor. When you heat-infuse it, the flavor oxidizes. If you keep it stored in the refrigerator, it will store for a couple of months.

I don't add the juice to the bottled syrup, because freshly-squeezed lime juice only maintains it's stability for approx 24 hours; you can taste the 'break-down' after that time. So if you were to add it directly into the bottle of lime syrup, the entire bottle of syrup would eventually ruin. If we added the fresh juice to the syrup, it would also alter the flavor into an amalgamation after a short amount of time. Keeping them separate allows each to maintain their distinct, flavor profiles.

The place to blend these two is directly in the mixing glass; adjust to taste.

Audrey

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This sounds really cook, Audrey. I'm going to make some this weekend. So, what would you say should be the ratio of lime zest to 1:1 simple syrup? Also, what is the right length of the infusion?

I know I'm already meddling with something I haven't even made yet, but I can't help wondering if the infusion wouldn't be better if the zest were first infused into some minimal amount of grain alcohol for a while and then the whole works added to the simple syrup for a subsequent infusion. The alcohol wouldn't be enough to make the simple syrup substantially alcoholic, and it does strike me that many oily flavor compounds infuse most strongly and thoroughly into alcohol.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I normally use the zest of 1 lime to 1 cup of water.

Regarding time, you should have a wonderful flavor

after approx 24 hours. Taste as you go. If at that

point you find that you want it a little more intense,

just leave it in a little while longer. As with everything

else, tasting as time passes, until you reach your

desired point.

With this short wait, no need to speed the clock forward

by excelling it with grain alcohol; you don't want to add

any harshness. Especially with lime flavor, a stronger

infusion is not necessarily a good thing; it can overpower.

We're after a clean, lime flavor here that's gentle and

easy-on-the-palate; the addition of lime juice will add

the intensity from underneath, and push forward the

flavor of the syrup.

Audrey

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In my bartending days I would holler at some of the kids working when they thought Rose's was to used as substitute for limejuice. However, i do not find it offensive in and of itself. I used it more to flavor club soda or even Coke.

I have a friend who mixes batches oc cosmopolitians for his wife. he uses Roses and the are horrible. She seems to like them for some reason. My wife brought a bottle home for hers. I wouldnot use it. lime juicemakes a cosmo drinkable. roses makes it un fit for consumption

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Okay, so I've made my own lime syrup. Really easy. Nothing to it. Very tasty. I'm probably never going back to Rose's. When mixed with fresh lime juice, it's actually surprising how much it tastes like a much better version of Rose's -- just without that funky "extra" flavor. Made some (gin, of course) gimlets last might to try it out. Worked beautifully. Now I have to think of other uses. Any ideas?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I’m going to try making this fresh lime syrup ASAP. I hate to toss my nearly full bottle of Rose’s, so it’s been relegated to a dash in my iced tea for a change of pace. It won’t be coming near any of my fine spirits in the future.


Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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Okay, so I've made my own lime syrup. Really easy. Nothing to it. Very tasty. I'm probably never going back to Rose's. When mixed with fresh lime juice, it's actually surprising how much it tastes like a much better version of Rose's -- just without that funky "extra" flavor. Made some (gin, of course) gimlets last might to try it out. Worked beautifully. Now I have to think of other uses. Any ideas?

Okay, I made my batch (I left the lime zest in the syrup for three days, because I wanted a stronger lime flavor), and I agree: it's fabulous.

And yet, there's something about Rose's and gimlets that's so ingrained in my taste memory that I think I prefer Rose's in a gimlet, even though, objectivly speaking, it's not as good.

That being said, I much prefer the homemade version in tequila gimlets, and it really adds a nice touch to daiquiris, giving them much more depth than plain syrup.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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Hi Janet,

If it the slightly sour flavor you're missing, try adding a spoonful or two of Ascorbic Acid crystals to it---the vitamin C gives it a nice zing.

Audrey

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Made some (gin, of course) gimlets last might to try it out

You mean to tell me there's some kind of a Gimlet made with anything other than Gin? Next thing I know some wag will be insisting that you can pour any old kind of liquor into a Martini glass and call it a Martini :rolleyes::laugh:

As a reformed and unrepentant Gimlet lover, I do know that many places make their Gimlets too sweet - an excess of Rose's is a bad thing. It's also conceivable that it taste much better before the introduction of HFCS. I sure remember it being tastier 20 years ago but back then I had a healthy does of gin with every splash of Rose's. My default apertif / digestif when out for dinner is tonic water with a big splash of Rose's. Traveling south of the border (Belize and Mexico) a couple years ago I discovered that Rose's was unavailable in the fine establishments that I was hanging out in but fresh lime juice could be had in abundance. I switched over to about an 8 to 1 ratio of tonic to fresh lime and love it but there is that extra little aftertaste in Rose's that can be really appealing in very small amounts. Try a very small splash in a glass of diet cola and you'll be pleasantly surprised - takes the edge off the artificial sweetener aftertaste.

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And going back to Rose's being a stale, concentrated, old West Indian lime juice from Mexico and sweetener (along with a preservative and food colouring) I'd prefer what Rose's was trying to accomplish -- keeping lime juice "fresh" (i.e., not spoiling for as long as possible) and sweetening it up. That would certainly make room for fresh lime juice (okay, so they are not West Indian limes from Mexico) and sweeten it up with the benefit of real cane/beet sugar and water instead of what they cheaply opt to utilise these days -- high fructose corn syrup.

I have add my two cents here. Rose's Lime Juice was originally made in Dominica, according to the history of Dominica. The original recipe was a combination of lime juice, which was plentiful on that West Indian Island, and sugar which was made on a smaller scale. Adding the sugar to the lime juice, added value to both exports. Lime trees were easier to cultivate than sugar on that rugged terrain, so the two crops were combined, the sugar was used to stabilize it for shipment in barrels to mother England.

For many years in the 17th and 18th centuries, limes were a major export from Dominica and provided much of the foreign trade from that island.

Fresh limes were also being exported from Dominica to England in the late 17th century. Without a lot of care fresh limes will last a couple of months when kept cool or wrapped in paper. It should be noted that storing limes in our modern refrigerators will dry limes out because the humidity is too low. Centuries ago ice was used to transport precious cargo without drying them out.

Limes were also imported from India, another part of the British Empire of times gone by.


Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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i suspect that not all roses is made equal.

i used to drink vodka gimlets, and only vodka gimlets in NZ then moved to the UK in 97' and could no longer drink them as the roses cordial in the UK tasted to sweet to me, ever since i add a dash of fresh juice to a gimlet just to give it a nice edge, something which admittidly not all of my customers have liked, but then i guess most of them are used to the sweeter stuff?


'the trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass'

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As CDH points out abpve, there are different formulations of Rose's. Among the two most common in the US are Rose's Lime Juice, which is sold in grocery stores and the like, and there is Rose's Lime Cordial which is the only kind that seems to be sold in liquor stores, and is slightly alcoholic. It is entirely possible that the UK stuff is not the same as the NZ.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Hi Janet,

If it the slightly sour flavor you're missing, try adding a spoonful or two of Ascorbic Acid crystals to it---the vitamin C gives it a nice zing.

Audrey, it's not really the level of sourness that's different. I mean, obviously, since the homemade lime syrup has no juice added, it's much sweeter, but that's taken care of by adding more lime juice when mixing the cocktail. What I meant was that there's just something about the flavor of Rose's that isn't present in the lime syrup -- it's not that the Rose's version is better; it's just different, but also, it's what I'm used to.

That being said, I did find quite by accident that a splash of lemon juice, in addition to your lime syrup and fresh lime juice, really makes a fabulous variation on the Gimlet. It's more complex than the version with straight lime juice.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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I completely agree! I have worked with that combo on many occasion, and think it's delish.

Aud.

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Any tips on keeping fresh lime juice fresh? It seems easier to keep something like RealLime around than fresh actual limes, but it seems to have longengevity issues of its own. After awhile it becomes cloudy and has white stuff floating in it. In the interest of full disclosure I discovered this while using it in a clear drink, rather than a cuba libre, so it might always be that way and I never noticed, but I definately threw out the white pith-looking-stuff besodden drink and last ounce or so of RealLime*.

-- C.S.

* Suggestions to always throw out bottles of RealLime in favor of the genuine fruity article are not helpful! :raz: Then again between my cuba libre's and my roommates G&Ts, keeping limes around might be ok now if we'll go through them without them rotting. Wait...isn't this partly why they invented Rose's in the first place? The circle of life....


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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Unfortunately, there is no method of preserving freshly pressed juice of any kind, without the use of mucky artifical chemicals. The only solution is to buy fresh limes on an ad hoc, when-ewe-need-it basis.

If making a homemade sour mix, however (lime juice/lemon juice/sugar/water), then this can be given a longer shelf-life by throwing in a splash of vodka, which won't significantly affect the taste of the mix (depending on the size of the batch, natch).

The problem of cloudy citrus juice is, however, easily resolved. Press ewer juice, and strain it through some muslin or cheese cloth. Some lazy folk advocate the use of coffee filters - this just doesn't seem "quite" organic enough to wee Queneau.

And just to reiterate what ewe already know - everything from scratch. I mean everything. Having never heard of Real-lime, I'm guessing it's an oxymoronic approach to the diametrically opposed tropes which comprise the fresh/preserved lime dichotomy. And I think ewe already know this is just plain silly.


irony doesn't mean "kinda like iron".

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Yeah, the Real-Lime isn't great, but it works in some circumstances. The vodka-stabilized sour mix idea sounds good, though.


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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I'm sorry I missed this debate when it was raging--hoo-wee! There's some historical stuff that might clear up a little, but by no means all, of the confusion, but before I pitch in with what I know of it I'd better state my principles (and thereby immediately cause half the people in this scrap to recognize me as the no-taste philistine that I am):

I like Rose's lime juice.

Now for the furious backpedaling: I fully agree that it's nothing like real, fresh lime juice; I fully agree that the formula now used is nothing like the original one, since HFCS invariably and utterly corrupts anything it touches; I wouldn't use Rose's in any other drink than a Gimlet.

But for me, it's just not a Gimlet without the stuff. There are plenty of other drinks out there which combine gin and fresh lime juice, many of them better than the Gimlet (I'm particularly partial to the Gin Rickey; see below). But for an according-to-Hoyle Gimlet, it's gotta have that odd...preserved flavor that only Rose's contributes. (Has anyone ever had loomi, the Middle-Eastern drink made from dried lemons/limes? It's got that same flavor to it, which suggests that Rose's owes its peculiar flavor to something other than preservatives.)

Historically, there are two schools of Gimlet-making: the British, and the American; with Rose's, and with fresh lime juice. Which is the "real" one?

Going by date alone, the American school seems to get the nod: as far as I can tell, it was the first to see print, with the following formula from Tom Bullock's 1917 Ideal Bartender:

"Use a large Mixing glass; fill with Lump Ice.

Juice 1/2 Lime.

1 1/2 jiggers Burnette's Old Tom Gin.

1/2 teaspoonful Bar Sugar.

Stir well and strain into Cocktail glass."

There's only one problem with this: Bullock calls this the "Gillette" cocktail (and adds that it's "Chicago Style"; why, he does not explain). But names for new or obscure cocktails tend to vary quite a bit, and this is the recipe that Mr. Boston picked up and printed in its influential 1935 bar guide as a "Gimlet."

The British school gets into print 5 years after Bullock (at least, that's the earliest mention I've been able to find), in Harry MacElhone's ABC of Mixing Cocktails (the Savoy Cocktail Book borrows from this shamelessly), which gives the following recipe:

"Gimlet.

1/2 Coates' Plymouth Gin

1/2 Rose's Lime Juice Cordial

Stir, and serve in same glass. Can be iced if desired.

A very popular beverage in the Navy."

There are a couple of things about this which suggest strongly that, date notwithstanding, this is the "authentic" recipe, and that it did indeed originate in the Royal Navy.

--The Navy had a huge base in Plymouth, and Plymouth Gin had a long history of popularity among its officers (the ratings had their rum ration, which forced the officers to drink something else in order to maintain the class distinction).

--Rose's, as has been observed, was standard naval issue.

The lack of ice and the proportions of the drink indicate a naval origin as well.

--Ice was scarce or unavailable on ships (when the US invaded Cuba in 1898, the only ice available was on William Randolph Hearst's yacht, which he brought down there to observe his war).

--The proportions, disgustingly sweet by our standards, make more sense when one considers that the spirits the Navy carried were either at "proof" (50% alcohol by weight, or about 114-116 proof by our system) or 4.5 degrees under proof (our 109 proof). If you're mixing overproof gin with no ice, you're going to need a lot more Rose's to make it palatable than if you're shaking normal-proof gin with ice. (BTW--Plymouth has reintroduced a Navy-strength rum, at 114 proof, but it's not yet available here in the US).

To me, the American school is most likely an attempt to recreate the old naval Gimlet in the absence of Rose's Lime Juice. I don't know when Rose's was first introduced to the American market, but it rarely if ever turns up as a cocktail ingredient before the 1930s.

Authentic or not, I like lots of ice in my Gimlet, and a proportion of 4 parts gin to 1 of Rose's.

As for the Rickey:

This drink dates from the 1880s. Originally, as dictated by "Colonel" Joe Rickey, the Missouri-bred Democratic lobbyist who perhaps invented and certainly popularized it, it was made thus:

“The juice of a lime is squeezed into a goblet, which is then filled with crushed ice. The a portion of whiskey or gin, in quantity to suit the taste, is poured in. The glass is then filled up with club soda or carbonic water.”

--(Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 7, 1892)

There was some debate about the exact technique--in 1890, the Washington Post said only half a lime was required, and that the squeezed out shell should go in the glass--but one thing everybody agreed on: absolutely no sugar goes into a Rickey. "This drink...is claimed by its inventor [i.e., Rickey] to be an ideal hot weather beverage. Any drink with sugar in it, he says, heats the blood, while the 'Rickey,' with its blood-cooling lime juice, is highly beneficial" (Daily Eagle).

Rickey was right.

--DW

Edited--half-assedly--for clarity.


Edited by Splificator (log)

aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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