Homemade Rose's Lime Juice (Lime Cordial)

"Rose's Lime Juice is difficult to find and prohibitively expensive where I live. Internet to the rescue! Here's a recipe by Maria J. on Chowhound. I've posted the recipe exactly as written, but I never add the drop of food coloring. For some reason, it always turns my cordial a bright turquoise color... Use this anywhere you would use Rose's Lime Juice. We especially love our Gimlets!"
photo by floridamarionlarry_ photo by floridamarionlarry_
photo by floridamarionlarry_
Ready In:
1 cup


  • 24 limes
  • 1 cup sugar (approx.)
  • 1 drop blue food coloring (optional)


  • Measurements are just approximate, read all instructions first to determine what you might need.
  • Wash the limes VERY thoroughly, then remove zest from ten of them using a vegetable peeler. Avoid the white, bitter pith. Set aside.
  • Squeeze enough limes to make 16 oz. (2 cups) juice. Place in a saucepan.
  • Bring the lime juice to a boil, reduce heat to medium and reduce the juice by half. Have a heatproof measuring cup on hand. When it looks close to half its former volume, pour into the cup and check. Return to the boil if necessary. Reducing it too much is better than not enough.
  • Once it's reduced by half, measure the lime juice reduction again and add an equal amount of cane sugar, by volume (ie: using the same cup to measure). That is, if it's 8 FL oz of juice, add 8 FL oz sugar. Stir to dissolve.
  • Stir in the zest and allow to steep for 15 minutes, then strain.
  • OPTIONAL: Add a very small drop of BLUE food coloring and mix well! It is supposed to turn a pale green, but I've never been successful at this. Mine always turns a bright turquoise blue. YUCK! The food color is purely for aesthetic purposes but does not affect the taste. The “real” Rose’s Lime Juice uses the food coloring.
  • Pour into a sealable glass bottle and store in the refrigerator. Will keep indefinitely.
  • Note: you can make a grapefruit cordial the same way. Looks wonderful (red grapefruit), but the color vanishes in a cocktail. It tastes great by itself, or try a Paloma (tequila, grapefruit cordial, fresh lime and soda). Bottoms up….

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. I planted a Persian lime tree in the spring, and was delighted to get so many. I was looking for a way to use them up, I'd already made two Key Lime Pies, and given a lot of limes away. I've been living in Florida for several years now, I was happy to come across this recipe, I used to buy Rose's Lime Juice in the UK, now I'm wondering if this is a UK or US website. I just picked the last 23 limes off the tree, and managed to squeeze out 3 1/2 cups of juice and ammended the ingredients accordingly, for the extra juice. I followed the recipe exactly, and used food colouring from my 'Williams Sonoma' 'Food Paste Set' Vivid Color. I bought it recently for decorating cakes. I'm used to the liquid food colouring, a drop goes a long way. Because this was a paste, I used a tooth pick to take a little out and stuck it into the cordial. Even though it was such a small amount, several globs appeared, which were difficult to mix in. It helped when I strained it. I'm happy with the green colour, even though it's a bit darker than Roses. It tastes really delicious. Tomorrow I'm going to make this recipe, using grapefruits from my tree, can't wait. Thank you very much for the recipe.
  2. Roses is now owned by Coca Cola, who I suspect are trying to get rid of it entirely. For several years it was off the market completely here (Ireland) and when it returned, it is only available from (of all people) Marks & Spencer. Ours contains no high-fructose corn syrup (I think that's a US-specific ingredient). The label says Water, Lime Juice from concentrate (5%), Sugar, Citric Acid, Flavourings, Preservative (Sodium Metabisulphite), Colours (Carotenes, Green S). I shall make some of your recipe as soon as I get near some limes...thank you!
  3. I really enjoy the occasional vodka gimlet but don't like that Roses Lime Juice contains High fructose corn syrup. This recipe is awesome. It takes exactly like Rose's. Thank you.
  4. I have a Tahitian lime in fruit at present and we've been overwhelmed by the sheer volume this year. Finding this recipe was a real win! I made some this morning and it tastes great. Thanks very much for sharing the info.


I'm originally from San Diego, California but now retired and living the tranquilo life in Dominical, Costa Rica!
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes