February 16, 2006
How to Juice a Lime (and make a pair of Mojitos)

You think you know how to cut up a lime. You don’t think there’s anything new on that front that I could teach you. You are wrong. Actually, I didn't know this trick myself until I moved to Thailand and saw limes cut like this all the time and placed atop delicious plates of fried rice.

If you want lime as a garnish, by all means, cut yourself a wedge. But if you’re trying to get the juice out, try this method:

Step 1: Cut off the bottom. Why? Just for stability.
Step 2: (and this is the crucial part) Cut a side off the lime, off center. Why? Breaks more of the septa so you can more easily squeeze out the juice-filled loculi. Translation, please? You cut more section membranes so the juice squirts out.
Step 3: Cut off-center twice more to get three pieces of lime.
Step 4: Twist the core. Why? Hey, there’s juice there too.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

See how much easier that is than squeezing a lime that's been quartered or halved?

If you want, doing that pre-cut rolling around on the cutting board trick isn't a bad idea.

Now the question is...what to do with all that lime juice? Mojitos, anyone? All this recent talk of mojitos on TMC has given me a hankering for one. I don't drink by myself (all that often) and so I prefer drink recipes to make at least 2 drinks, if not a pitcher. So, here's the classic mojito, care of the good folks at webtender, extrapolated to twice the size. That's 100% more!

Note: Ron Cubano would be great here. My wife, The Ambassador Ambassatrix, representative of the federal government of the United States, does not endorse this choice. If we did have Cuban rum in our apartment, which we don't, it would certainly be Havana Club aged 3 years. Um...yeah.

Classic Mojito
(para dos)
4 oz light rum (that's ½ cup in case you want to keep the jigger in the drawer)
Juice from 2 limes
4 t sugar
4-8 spearmint sprigs (depending on the size)
Soda water

Muddle the mint and sugar with a splash of soda water in a shaker until the sugar dissolves. Squeeze the lime into the shaker, add rum, and shake with ice. Strain into glasses (actually, I prefer to have the mint (and one section of lime) in the glass, thank you very much) and top with soda water.

Put on some Francisco Aguabella and your Che shirt and toast with a heart-felt "Viva la revolución!"

Posted by Justin in Bogotá at February 16, 2006 9:54 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

Wow. That makes me dream of summer days on the terrace with lovely cold drinks...and then I look out my window at a grey Paris sky.

Thanks for the tip about juicing - I'm definitely going to try it next time, because it's true that reaming them is a pain in the butt!

Posted by Meg in Paris on February 16, 2006 at 9:42 AM

THOSE are some fine looking mojitos!

The mojito is another place where my tastes and my wife's tastes diverge. She is not a fan of mint, and mojitos kind of gross her out. I could drink a pitcher of them easily.

I'll try the juicing trick. I currently have two juice methods for citrus. The first is to roll it, and stick a fork in the side then ream the insides of the lime with the fork. The second method is to halve the fruit, then put it in this special Mexican hand press that turns it inside out and squeezes the bejeezus out of it.

I'll set up an experiment this weekend to see which of the three methods produces the most juice/fruit and report back.

Posted by barrett on February 16, 2006 at 9:43 AM

So THAT's why there are so many bejeezuses floating around my kitchen! The lime press set them loose!

I like some lime and mint in my glass, but in the picture it looks more like a glop of spinach... :-)

Perhaps caipirinhas for The Redhead instead? I didn't get to have one with lunch today at the Brazilian steakhouse. :-(

Posted by Monica on February 16, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Caipirinhas for The Redhead are a good and similar alternative. But can you get cachaça? I can't find any here and I regret not bringing a bottle back from Brazil. Very short sighted of me. You could always do them with vodka for a caipiroshka. I would use Baileys Irish Cream as a substitute of last resort.

Posted by Justin on February 16, 2006 at 2:09 PM

You can also put the lime into the microwave for 20 seconds or so beforehand, which will soften it up for even more effective juicing.

: D

Posted by Tana on February 16, 2006 at 4:12 PM

Okay dude! That's really very useful tutorial. I think now I can make lime juice by myself. Thanks for encouraging allocation. :)

Posted by Roose Taylor on February 12, 2012 at 1:23 AM

The mint in the photograph is severely over-pounded. The idea is to bruise the leaves not rip them to shreds.

A lot of people won't like the drink photographed because it will be full of little bits of mint. Shouldn't be done like that.

I like a touch angostura bitters in my mojitos - just a splash added in at the end lowers the sweetness which can be overpowering for some.

Shouldn't really shake it either, a short stir is enough, if you shake it you will chip the ice. Best bet is just to make it in the glass.

Posted by streaky on April 1, 2012 at 4:03 PM
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