Don't be the ignorant rube who flounces into Clover Club demanding all the limes—we're in the midst of a devastating lime drought, God, don't you read the newspaper? So severe is the shortage that many of the city's bars have quietly spiked the garnish from drinks altogether, or, if they're serving them, raised the prices accordingly. This explains why a bartender last night asked me no less than five times if I wanted a lime in my G&T—the answer is still yes—like some penny pinching Mars Blackmon.
The shortage wasn't sudden—the price of limes has been increasing steadily over several months now, having raised from the usual price of around 21 cents to close to a dollar per lime. A crummy lime harvest is generally agreed to be the culprit, but exacerbating the problem are the Mexican cartels, which are apparently attacking the country's lime shipments? According to the Guardian Liberty Voice, one restaurant owner "has decided to remove all limes and drinks that contain limes from her menu in hopes the drug cartels in Mexico will have nothing but rotting limes and will be forced to sell drugs again instead of making money by hijacking hardworking farmers."
Grub Street checked in with watering holes around the city to see how they're coping with the shortage. Answers varied, but not one is proceeding with business as usual: Some have raised prices, some are cutting their lime juice with lemons, and some are looking deep into the souls of patrons to determine whether they really need a lime-based drink or whether their philistine mouths won't recognize the difference between a lime, a lemon or a bunched up shoelace.
No word yet on how the shortage has impacted our most sacred alcoholic national treasure, the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita.