Higher lime prices sour drink choices on Cinco de Mayo - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Higher lime prices sour drink choices

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

Monday is Cinco de Mayo, but before you take a sip of your margarita or Mai Tai, you may notice there's a lime missing from your drink.

Across the country, lime prices continue to increase by as much as triple the price. Business owners are trying to keep their customers happy, but it hasn't been easy.

Luther's is one of many places offering Cinco de Mayo drink specials on Monday, which is coincidentally also Margarita Monday.

But with each drink they serve, they're trying to squeeze out every bit of lime to make it last.

"We're kind of cutting them a little smaller than we normally do so we can get more out of each lime," said Michael Stavac, co-owner of Luther's.  

Stavac says they're trying to cut back as much as possible after lime prices tripled.

"Obviously when we serve margaritas, rum and Coke or Coronas, people want their lime with it you know, so we have no choice so we're pretty much forced into getting them," he said.

Down the street, Plums restaurant and Q on Bay are in the same boat. There only seems to be one way to go.

Some businesses are not serving drinks with limes as often anymore.

"We used to pay $20 a week for a case, now we pay $60 for a case and they're a lot smaller as well, when a customer requests it is when we will put it on there," said Caleb Messinger, of Q on Bay.

The U.S. imports almost 95 percent of its limes from Mexico.

Across the country, bars and restaurants are trying to stay afloat as lime prices continue to skyrocket because of weather, disease and Mexican drug cartels who have disrupted the supply. 

Some businesses are considering raising their drink prices if things continue, others are willing to bite the bullet to keep their customers.

Until the citrus outbreak in 2001, the state of Florida produced roughly half of the limes consumed in the U.S.

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