Even the most understocked dive bars or hole-in-the-wall pubs are sure to have lime wedges for garnishing margaritas and cocktails made with lemon-lime soda. Cut the limes with precision to ensure equal one-eighth portions so each cocktail receives the same amount of lime. Serve lime wedges on the rim of the glass, where they can be used simply for decoration or squeezed to add a burst of citrus flavor to the cocktail. Even without squeezing the juice, notes of lime are noticeable with each drink from the juice and the citrus oil in the peel.
Things You'll Need
Remove produce stickers from each lime. A sticker left on the lime makes the cocktail less attractive and also exposes the drink to ink and adhesive.
Wash the limes thoroughly to remove any dirt or bacteria that might be present on the rinds. A vegetable scrub brush works well for dislodging dirt from the textured surface. Try a simple fruit and vegetable wash made with vinegar for extra dirt-lifting power. Fill your sink basin with cool water and add about 1 cup of white vinegar. Soak the limes in the vinegar solution for about 10 minutes before scrubbing.
Slice the stem and bottom ends from the lime with a slice about ¼ inch deep. While optional, this step makes the finished lime wedges more attractive and eliminates the potential for dirt trapped around the depressions at each end from entering the cocktail.
Cut the lime in half lengthwise, making a cut down the center from stem end to bottom end. Set the lime halves with the cut side facing down on a cutting board.
Slice each lime in half down the center from stem end to bottom end to cut the lime in quarters, cutting through the rind first, then the flesh.
Slice each lime quarter in half, through the rind first again, with an angled cut toward the center, resulting in eight equal pieces. Keep the lime quarters together when making the angled cuts — the two quarter pieces support each other so they stand upright while cutting the eighths.
Cut a small slit at the center of each lime wedge through the flesh and down to the pith layer without cutting through the rind. Hang the wedges on a cocktail glass rim from this slit.
For smaller limes, one-sixth wedges might be more desirable to allow more juice per wedge. Follow the same procedure as for cutting one-eighth wedges, but make two equidistant cuts through each lime half instead of three cuts. This results in a total of three pieces per half, or six total pieces for the whole lime.
References and ResourcesSerious Eats: Cocktail 101: How to Cut Citrus Wedges
The Kitchn: Cocktail Basics: Citrus Garnishes 6 Ways
Cocktails for Dummies, Mini Edition: Ray Foley
Good Cocktails: Cocktail Garnishes