What is a Lime Beer? & (How is a Lime Beer Made?)
While some beer flavor names tend to be vague or confusing, a lime beer is very straightforward—it’s a beer with lime in it. There are many ways to enjoy a lime beer, whether homemade or bought, whether at home or at the bar.
A lime beer is a beer beverage with lime added, whether through the actual flavor of the drink or by adding a wedge of lime. The most popular usage of lime in beer is with Corona drinks, where part of the appearance of a Corona is to have a wedge of lime stuck in the top to pop in.
Here are a couple more things for you to know when it comes to lime beer, its history, and how it’s made.
The History of Lime Beer
The use of sticking a lime in a beer bottle has been made popular mainly thanks to Corona beers. Whether Corona started this trend themselves or others added lime to their drinks and Corona took advantage of this marketing opportunity, it is now extremely common to see a Corona bottle with a lime wedge sticking out from the top.
There are a few different myths that people believe about how this trend started.
One of these myths is that having a lime would help clean the rim of a bottle so that it was safe for someone to drink straight from the bottle. While this may be the case, it is unlikely that is true.
Back in the day, it was not uncommon for metal caps to cause rust to form on the rim of a bottle. Since people often drink Coronas straight from the bottle, this could quickly become a health hazard if not taken care of.
So, they would use the lime juice to cleanse the rim so that it was safe to drink.
Another reason this trend may have started is to keep flies away from the drinks.
Some believe that bartenders in Mexico, where flies are everywhere, would use a lime as a stopper for the bottle to not only keep flies from getting in the drink, but also use the acidity of the lime to deter the fly from the sugar in the drink.
Finally, the last myth as to why lime is used in Corona drinks is that it could help hide the flavor of the beer if it goes bad.
Corona is different from many other beer products because they use clear, glass bottles to hold their drinks rather than brown, tinted ones.
While this looks more aesthetically pleasing, it means that sunlight is more likely to spoil the drink if not taken care of.
So, by using lime, bartenders can mask the flavor if it tastes off, and Corona can keep its appealing image.
3 Things to Consider When Mixing Lime Beer at Home
When making lime beer mixes at home, there are a couple of things to consider.
Number #1: First, it’s crucial to use fresh lime ingredients.
It won’t cut it to use store-bought lime juice (unless you’re on a budget).
If you want to take advantage of this great combination of lime and beer, then you’ll want to use freshly squeezed lime juice.
Number #2: When choosing what kind of beer will go best with lime, make sure to choose something light.
If you go with a dark beer, the flavors won’t complement each other very well because lime beer is supposed to taste bright and refreshing. Dark beers are not often light and refreshing.
Number #3: Another thing to consider is the use of salt.
Adding salt to lime beer is a common practice that helps to bring out the flavor and acidity of the lime to make the ultimate combination of flavors.
How to Make Lime Beers
With those things considered, you might notice that you can do a lot more with a lime beer than just sticking a lime wedge into the drink.
You could do that if you just want a hint of lime, but if your tastes are anything like mine, the more lime the better!
So, if you’re thinking of concocting some lime beers for your next tailgate party, summer barbeque, or get-together with friends, there are a few different ways you can do it.
If you want to add lime juice directly to the beer, most recipes call for 2 to 3 tablespoons of lime juice per glass.
Salt and Spice
One really simple thing to do is to moisten the rims of your chilled mugs with a wedge of lime, and then coat the damp glass with salt.
Alternatively, you could put the salt directly on the lime wedge, and if you’re feeling spicy, put some chile powder on the other side of the wedge and get your chile-lime kick for the day.
Many Mexican-style lime beer recipes include things like this, whether adding chile powder on the lime or in a mixture directly into the drink, but it seems to support the lime beer’s Mexican origins.
For some sweetness to go along with the lime’s tang, consider a limeade sort of route. Mix up equal parts lime juice and water with a little sugar until the sugar dissolves (adjust the sugar to taste). Add the mixture to your drink. You can even accompany that with your salted (and/or chile) lime wedge.
If you don’t want to think about proportions or mix up the limeade yourself, you can alternatively pick up some frozen limeade from the store and use that instead.
If neither of those drinks are exciting enough for you, there are still plenty of things you can do to invigorate your lime beer beyond the lime itself.
You can put any spicy sauce in it from Tabasco to Tapatio to Cholula. You could go savory with Worcestershire sauce, Maggi sauce, or soy sauce. You could even put black pepper or salt directly into your lime beer. With some added lime juice, your choice of spicy and savory sauces, and that salt and pepper, you’ve got yourself a Michelada.
You only need a dash of your chosen sauces and a pinch of salt and pepper to make a Michelada.