Rose’s Lime Cordial

The conventional thinking of those who live in warmer countries – where coincidentally alcoholic drinks seem to be cheaper – is starting with a Bloody Mary at breakfast there is a day long alcoholic binge culminating in aromatic “sticky” post dinner drinks. This is clearly a cliche and one that I don’t recognise from my family, colleagues, friends and contemporaries.

What I do know is that we are all being encouraged to increase our intake of water.

Personally, I am very fond of conventional “still spring water” – such as Evian and Lanjaron. They are widely available and if served cold are delicious. However, it is often the custom as an alternative to coffee at a mid-morning stop to go to a cafe where I prefer to have sparkling water – in itself fine – but certainly dull after a while.

I have discovered the perfect alternative is to add a couple of cubes of ice and a decent glug of Roses Lime Cordial to your sparkling water to turn it into a truly refreshing and delightful excuse to hydrate.

Limes – and other circus fruits – were discovered by James Lind in 1753 to cure those affected by scurvy – particularly prevalent in the Navy where from 1795 daily rations were dispensed to great effect. The popular method of preserving the fruit during this era was to steep them in rum.

Rose’s Lime Cordial – also called Rose’s Lime Juice – is a concentrated fruit juice patented in 1867 by Lauchlin Rose as a means to preserve citrus juice without the need for alcohol thus opening up the market for his product.

In 1868, Rose established his first factory producing on Commercial Street, Leith (Scotland) adjacent to the Old East Dock. Most limes used by Rose arrived from  Dominica in the West Indies and in time he purchased plantations to there to ensure supplies.

In 1875 Rose moved the head quarters of his company to London’s docks though it still retained its Leith factory. In 1940, due to wartime bombing it moved the HQ to St Albans in Hertfordshire – north of London.

Post WWII its market share grew and in 1957 it was acquired by Schweppes who operated the brand – and held a Royal Warrant to HM Queen Elizabeth II “as manufacturers of Schweppes and Rose’s soft drinks” – following its merger with Cadbury’s – until in 2008 when Cadbury’s divested its drinks operations transferring Rose’s to the newly formed Dr Pepper Snapple Group as part of its Mott’s division.

Raymond Chandler is quoted as saying  “A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else.”

Image from Mott’s


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I am an English trained and experienced lawyer. I have lived with my wife and family for nearly twenty years in the “California of Europe” - at the tip of Southern Europe. I am a proud European and driven to evangelize about the quality of life to be enjoyed here.

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