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Lime shortage could give bars Cinco de Mayo problems

PHOENIX — Cinco de Mayo is coming up, and you may not see something familiar with your beers and margaritas this year.

That’s because heavy rains in parts of Mexico have led to a lime shortage that has driven up the wholesale price of limes to $100 for a 40-pound crate.

Some bars and restaurants in California are running so low on limes that they’re offering 25-cent drinks to customers who bring in bags filled with them.

There’s been no shortage at Larry’s Cocktails in Phoenix. The popular neighborhood watering hole near Cave Creek and Beardsley roads has been getting regular shipment, though it has seen a change in the quality.

“They’re just dry. There’s not a shortage, they’re just dry,” said bartender Jim Smith. He said that the problem isn’t big enough for the bar to complain to its supplier.

Smith said that his bar goes through a lot of limes to please customers who want them.

“There’s a few drinks, margaritas or something, but that’s about it,” he said, though he later admitted that he isn’t a lime fan. “I figure that if you’ve got to put lime in the drink, it’s not worth drinking.”

Smith said the bar will serve lemons with the drinks if they run out of limes.

Customer Mark Anderson said he doesn’t care if the bar runs out of limes. But if it runs out of Coronas, that’s another story.