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What, no limes for Cinco de Mayo? April 27, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. You’ve probably heard about the lime shortage that’s causing soaring prices and a lot of heartache to Mexican, Thai, and other restaurants that rely on limes in their cuisine and drinks. A whopping 95% of our limes are imported from Mexico, and winter downpours there have set back the lime crop, resulting in late ripening. The fact that druglords charge the lime growers outrageous “export fees” (and, Godfather-like, make them “offers they can’t refuse” if they don’t pay them) doesn’t help prices, either.

The remaining 5% of limes in the U.S. are grown in California and Florida. A three-year drought has literally dried up California’s lime crop, and Florida’s has been hit with a citrus disease that keeps the fruit from ripening. It’s predicted that the Mexican lime crop won’t arrive here in time for Cinco de Mayo, that great celebration of all things Mexican (and margarita). What’s a margarita lover to do?!

The few cases of limes that have managed to make it into the U.S. are so expensive that they’re forcing restaurateurs to get creative. One Mexican restaurant in California now offers patrons margaritas for 25 cents if they’ll bring in limes from their own backyard trees. Others have raised the prices of their top-shelf margaritas or refrained from adding slices of lime unless they’re specifically requested by the customer. Still others are experimenting with substituting lemon juice in dishes like ceviche and guacamole.

What does this mean for your Cinco de Mayo party? Probably not that much. Limes are going for 99 cents each or $2 a bag at Wegman’s, a high-end grocery, so they’re probably less at your local store. It’s not a huge sacrifice to splurge on a few limes for your fiesta. Or you could go for a paloma, a drink that’s more popular in Mexico than margaritas.

This delicious, refreshing drink is traditionally made with tequila and a Mexican white grapefruit soda (the drink’s golden color caused its originator to name it for the beautiful golden paloma horse). But as white grapefruit soda isn’t that easy to find in my part of rural PA and I happen to love pink grapefruit juice, I devised my own version. Allow me to present the Pink Paloma:

Fill a tall glass 1/4 full with golden tequila; add a splash of Triple Sec. Add pink grapefruit juice (no pulp, no added sweetener!) to bring the glass to half full. Top it off with mandarin orange seltzer water (again, unsweetened). So delicious! And it’s much less heavy and syrupy than most margaritas. Add a slice of lime at your discretion.

‘Til next time,



300,037. July 19, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
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That’s the number of views we’ve had here at Poor Richard’s Almanac as of 6:57 a.m., according to our blog host WordPress’s official count. We were going to post about the pair of yearling raccoons playing hide-and-seek in one of our friend Ben and Silence Dogood’s garden beds yesterday afternoon (doubtless our karmic retribution for writing a post called “Those horrid ratcoons” yesterday morning).

But we’ve decided to celebrate the over-300,000 milestone instead by giving you all, who after all are the reason we’ve made it this far, a gift in the form of a recipe for one of our favorite summer drinks: the Paloma. (Named for the golden horse, not the famous jewelry designer.) It’s light, it’s refreshing, and it’s totally appropriate for a week that ends with National Tequila Day on Sunday, July 24. We, however, insist on adding our own unique twist, using pink (aka “ruby red”)  grapefruit juice instead of the golden grapefruit juice that gave the drink its original color and name. So without more ado:

                 The Pink Paloma

In a large glass, pour 2 shots of golden tequila and 1 shot of Triple Sec. Add splashes of Key lime and Key lemon juice. Pour in chilled pink (“ruby red”) grapefruit juice to fill the glass to just under the halfway mark. Fill the glass to the top with chilled sparkling Mandarin orange seltzer. Stir and enjoy.

Remember, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Raise your glasses and toast Poor Richard’s Almanac. We’ll certainly be toasting all of you in return!