High lime prices giving US bartenders a hangover

Limes have skyrocketed in price, driving restaurants and bars crazy.

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) â?? Every time a bartender at his Los Angeles restaurant and bar squeezes a shot of lime into a drink these days, Peter Kohtz winces a little.

The owner of the LA fusion eatery Luna Park is one of thousands of restaurateurs coast to coast who have fallen victim to the Great Lime Crisis of 2014. Limes have skyrocketed in price. So much so that a case of them that once cost $15 now goes for as much as $130.

You can't make a margarita or mojito without a lime. Or garnish any number of foods. They're in short supply thanks to weather, citrus and even mob cartel problems in Mexico, where most grow.

Some restaurants are subbing oranges or lemons. Others say they are just squeezing the limes really hard.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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