Best Way to Juice a Lime

May 31st, 2017

Oh Lime, How Do I Squeeze You?

Freshly squeezed lime juice is one of the most important ingredients in a good Bartender’s arsenal. Pre-packed bottled stuff is no comparison.

But HOW is the juice being produced? A Motorized Commercial Bar Juicer is certainly faster, more efficient and produces a higher yield than a hand press, but is the resulting juice the same?

It's the Bartender Journey Podcast No. 214!  Listen with the audio player on this page, or subscribe on iTunesAndroid or Stitcher Radio.

Our guest on the show today is David Eden-Sangwell of the Bartender HQ Podcast. We’ll discuss the results of the lime juice experiment, plus the issue of sustainability and waste in bars.

Lime Juice Experiment:

I was curious about the effects of using different types of juicers on the finished juice. I had no idea just how dramatic the results would be.

In the Bartending Community we often talk about how the white pith of citrus is bitter, and should be avoided.

With the rotating cone of the Motorized Juicer, we must be pulverizing some of that pith, which will get into the juice, right? The oil from the zest will not be utilized at all, and will end up in the garbage.

When we use a Citrus Hand Press or stand up lever operated Commercial Citrus Juicer we smash the zest quite a bit. The oils from the zest must be incorporated into the juice.

I used the following method to make my comparison.

I squeezed total of 18 limes – 6 each with the 3 different methods.

To evaluate the effect of the zest, I used a Y-Peeler to remove the peels from the limes for method #2.

Method #1: Waring Commercial Bar Juicer

Method #2: Hand Pressed – No Zest

Method #3: Hand Pressed – With Zest

Juice Yield (after fine straining):

  1. 6 ½ oz
  2. 5 ¾ oz
  3. 5 ¼ oz

Color of juice:

  1. Darkest green – a little muddy
  2. Most pale of the three
  3. Green hue

Aroma of juice:

  1. Citrus, yet “flat”.   Smells of over ripe melon, not so much like lime.
  2. Lime & citrus. Acidic.
  3. Light, flowery, alive, bright.

Taste of juice:

  1. Acidic, unappealing, not a strong taste of lime – just acid.
  2. Lime & acid.
  3. Saline, Lime, Fresh, The most balanced of the three. Vibrant.

I made Daiquiris that were identical, with the exception of the lime juice.

Daiquiri Test
-1 oz Real McCoy Silver Rum Aged 3 Years
-½ oz Lime Juice
- ½ oz - less 10 % - Simple Syrup

Taste of Daiquiris:

  1. Lime flavor not very pounced. A little artificial tasting. Bitter on the back palate.
  2. Fresher, but a little flat. Acidic.
  3. Sweetest of the three, yet most appealing and complex. Fresh and interesting. Adding .75ml (=0.4oz) more lime juice, (with an “eyedropper”), made it perfect…the best of the three by far!


The difference was striking. Method #3 produced far superior results over the others. The Daiquiri was vibrant, fresh, and complex. Method #1 was flat, one dimensional and less fruity.

So, it looks like the motorized juicer will be gathering dust in my bar, and we’ll be setting the lime juice oils free with the hand juicer!



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