Here are all the best lime cocktails to try! Sample all the classics that star this zesty citrus fruit, from the daiquiri to the margarita.
Love the zesty flavor of the mighty lime? So did the cocktail masters. Turns out, many of the most popular classic mixed drinks are lime cocktails! The classic daiquiri, gimlet, margarita and mojito all have one thing in common: they’re made with lime! This humble fruit powers some of the most iconic alcoholic drinks there are.
Here are all the best classic lime cocktails! There’s something for everyone here: these mixed drinks span the gamut of rum, vodka, tequila, gin…and even a few more unique liquors. Let’s get started!
One of the most famous lime cocktails of them all: the classic daiquiri! This perfectly balanced cocktail stars lime juice, rum, and simple syrup. A classic daiquiri is not frozen at all: it's served straight up in a cocktail glass and thought to have been invented in the 1800’s in Cuba.
Tied for the top lime cocktail: the Gimlet! This classic features lime juice, gin and simple syrup, a textbook sour cocktail. While it became ultra popular in the 1950's, a recipe was included in a 1930’s cocktail book, so it stems back to at least that far!
Perhaps it's a three-way tie for the top lime cocktails? Don't forget the most famous of them all: the Margarita! Likely originating in the 1930's, the margarita is one of the most classic sours of all time: drinks that feature liquor, sweetener and citrus. The classic recipe is tequila, lime, and Cointreau, and it's perfect in its simplicity.
Yet another ultra popular lime cocktail...the Mojito! Some say it was invented in the 1500s, others in the 1800's with the birth of the Bacardi rum company. In any case, its place as an iconic Cuban cocktail was solidified by the 1930's when Ernest Hemingway helped to popularize the drink. It's perfectly. balanced with lime, rum and fresh mint and equally as popular today (if not more so).
Another great lime cocktail starring vodka: the Moscow mule! This classic was born in the 1940’s: made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime and always served up in a copper mug. Why the mug? The coolness of the glass when you sip makes it taste ice cold.
Just 3 ingredients make up this classic lime cocktail: the Dark and Stormy! This refreshing highball drink has quite the reputation…because it’s just that good. Each ingredient has lots of personality: the rich, earthy dark rum, with vanilla and brown sugar notes. Add to that spicy ginger beer, fruity and filled with effervescent bubbles. Top it off with a squeeze of tangy lime, and there’s not much better for sipping...any time and any season.
Another popular lime cocktail: the piña colada! This drink originated in Puerto Rico; the name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish. It’s a drink of pineapple juice, rum, lime, and coconut, served either blended or with crushed ice. For a purist it’s most traditional with crushed ice. But it is popularly served blended, which is the method we decided on here.
There’s truly no drink like it. Meet the classic pisco sour! This lime cocktail from Peru is mega popular for a reason. It’s just that good. There are lots of famous sours, from the Whiskey Sour and Amaretto Sour to the two-toned New York Sour. But there’s really nothing like a pisco sour. The way the pisco melds with the lime makes it bright, mellow, and distinctly magical.
If you haven’t tried a Caipirinha, well: you haven’t lived! Yes, the national drink of Brazil is just that good. In fact, it’s one of our favorite cocktails because there’s truly nothing like it. It’s made with cachaça, a liquor made of sugar cane, which tastes like a funky version of rum. Combine that with lime, sugar and lots of ice, and you’ve got one of the uniquely refreshing lime cocktails on the planet.
Rounding out our lime cocktails is another classic: the Southside! This gin cocktail recipe features bright citrus, herbaceous mint, and botanical gin. It's almost like a gin mojito! While it's not always made with lime, the lemon lime combination is often used and particularly stunning.
Want more inspiration? There are a few more great cocktails with lime that we couldn’t leave out:
Vodka Tonic One of the easiest mixed drinks of all time! This two-ingredient cocktail is bubbly, citrusy, and refreshing.
Jungle Bird A tropical rum cocktail with a twist! Bitter Campari offsets sweet pineapple juice to make a balanced, refreshing mixed drink.
Tequila Sour A delightful sweet tart drink with a frothy foam topping: a mashup of a 1920’s sour cocktail with a margarita.
Fernet Sour Cocktail One of the most unique craft cocktails! Also known as the Industry Sour, it stars Fernet-Branca and lime.
Best lime juicer
When you’re making lime cocktails, a good citrus juicer is a must! Using a juicer makes sure you get all the juice out of the lime without cramping your fingers. It’s especially helpful when you’re juicing lots of limes, like for a margarita pitcher.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.