Key Lime Substitutes

This article provides an overview of key lime, what it tastes like, its availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make key lime substitutes.

What is Key Lime Juice?

Key lime juice is a concentrated juice made from key lime. Key lime is smaller, seedier, has a stronger aroma, and has higher acidity compared to regular Persian limes. The name key lime comes from its association with the Florida Keys, where the Spanish first brought key lime trees, way back in the 1500s.

What does Key Lime Juice taste like?

Key limes are loved for their unique and exceptional flavor. The taste is much more intense and tangier than regular limes. The juice is also slightly more bitter and sweeter than regular lime juice. This full-body flavor makes it a favorite addition to desserts since the sugar can neutralize the strong flavors.

Is Key Lime Juice readily available in Supermarkets?

Key lime juice is more readily available in South and Central America. However, you should be able to find it in major supermarkets in the United States, usually with other concentrated lime or lemon juices. Outside of these regions, it will be challenging to locate outside of a specialty store.

What are some alternative names for Key Lime Juice?

Key lime and key lime juice are often referred to as Mexican or West Indian limes, as well as bartenders’ lime.

What is a good substitute for Key Lime Juice in recipes?

Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for key lime. These include:

  • Although the flavor will not match completely, the best substitute for key lime juice would be a combination of regular fresh lime juice and fresh lemon juice.
  • You can of course also easily make your own key lime juice if the limes are available to buy.