• Steve The Barman
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Fresh Lime Juice vs Bottled Lime Juice. Which Should you use?

When it comes to making a cocktail, one of the most important things to think about is the citrus. On the surface, this may seem like an obvious thing. You use fresh Citrus. It’s easy to get and it's pretty cheap. But in reality, it doesn't have to be so black and white. In fact, depending on your situation, there can actually be advantages of going down the bottled Citrus route. So before you make any decisions about what kind of citrus will go in your classic Margarita or pre-dinner Daiquiri, let's explore all the options available and discuss how each one could affect the outcome of your drink.


Fresh Citrus vs Bottled

It’s really easy to get hold of Lemons, Limes and Oranges from any supermarket or market. They’re pretty much household staples these days. But vital to Cocktails, especially Lemons and Limes. No Daiquiri, Margarita, Collins, Mojito or any of the multitude of Cocktails out there are the same without them.

But there are a couple of things at play here, especially in the Hospitality industry.


Cost and Wastage

First up, cost. While 25p for a Lime may not seem too much. Multiply that by a few cases, close to 100 Limes, and you’re nearly £25 in, and you’ll be very lucky if you get close to 2 litres. In our experience, 100 Limes will actually give you closer to 1.5 litres.

Now we’re always advocating for Fresh Limes if you’re making Cocktails there and then. But if you need to prep and juice Limes ahead of Service, not only are you paying labour costs for juicing the limes, which can run into a few hours every week. But the juice will start to oxidise. Not massively, but enough to make the taste difference between these products after a couple of hours, actually pretty negligible. If actually any taste difference at all. Do a Blind taste test. You may surprise yourself! 



You see these products are 100% freshly squeezed Juice. Juiced within hours of being picked. But they have the added benefit of being long life and shelf-stable Before…and in some cases, After opening.  Simply because they have a tiny bit of antioxidants in them. The exact same stuff the vast majority of the wine industry uses to keep the wine fresh in bottles! Yes your favourite Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc with have the same antioxidants in them.

So actually, what will taste better?

Lime Juice that’s near enough Fresh?

Or Limes that may have been picked 2-3 weeks ago, probably closer to a month, before they've even made it to a Supermarket Shelf or wholesaler.

So when you compare the price, say of ODK Lime, for the same price of £25, you’ve got in well in excess of 2 litres guaranteed, with zero wastage. Funkin Lime will actually give you a lot more bang for your buck. 2 Litres will set you back just under £20. The only difference is ODK Lime will easily keep 30 days after opening. Funkin, maybe 7-10 days. Treat it as fresh!

Bu also, and more crucially, don’t forget you’re saving labour costs as well if you're squeezing your Lime juice in advance ready for service.


Now let’s tackle the wastage

Assuming you can sell 30+ Cocktails in 10 days for Funkin, or 30 Days for ODK. You will have zero wastage. Nothing. But let’s be honest, the same could be said with Limes unless you drop the odd one and it bruises.

However, where this all comes into play is when you have higher volumes. Imagine you make 500 Cocktails a week. You’ll need circa 7.5 litres of Lime Juice. That will probably set you back £125 give or take in Limes. However, the equivalent in ODK or Funkin will be roughly £80. That’s £45 cheaper, PLUS your Labour costs of Juicing. Multiply that by 52 weeks a year, and that’s close to £2500 you’ve just saved yourself!