Imagine you’re out at a bar with your friends or some family. Someone in your group orders a bottle of Corona.
More likely than not, they add something to their order: a lime. This isn’t just a quirk that the occasional person has, either – many people in the United States insist on ordering a Corona with a lime wedge.
When it arrives, they probably squeeze the lime juice into the beer, then push the wedge into the bottle. Then they drink it.
But just why are limes added to Corona? Is there more to it than just taste?
The answer in this case is stranger than you’d think. We’ll tell you what we’ve found out.
Quick Answer: Why are Limes Added to Corona?
There isn’t actually a clear-cut reason for limes and Corona going together. Wikipedia states that it’s just because people like the zestiness lime adds to the beer.
Some other sources claim that it’s because the lime can clean the lip of the bottle or cover the smell of the beer when it gets skunky.
Read Also: What are the Juiciest Limes?
Top Reasons Limes are Added to Corona
Let’s look more closely at the alleged reasons Corona is usually ordered with a lime wedge.
The first and main reason is taste. Many feel the lime wedge works well with the flavor of the beer.
There are also theories that the lime has cleaning properties and can kill germs on the rim of the bottle. These claims aren’t entirely baseless, either, although we can’t guarantee the lime cleans the bottle that much.
Lime contains citric acid, a weak organic acid that is sometimes used in cleaning products. Occasionally, citric acid is used to treat water, so we could see why some people would say the lime cleans Corona bottles.
Then there are some who say the lime conceals the smell of the beer. When beer is exposed to UV light, hop molecules inside it begin to break down, causing an unpleasant odor. A lime wedge is believed to cover up that smell, allowing you to drink the beer in peace.
This is why most people will tell you not to drink warm beer. Truthfully, though, it would take much greater temperature changes to turn a beer skunky than what we’re led to believe.
Finally, others say that the lime is simply the result of peer pressure. This theory states that the only reason people really order the beer with lime is that everyone else does it, and they want to fit in with each other.
The Unknown Danger of Adding Lime to Your Beer
This subheading sounds sensationalistic, but there is some truth to it. There are actually some risks to drinking a Corona with lime…if you’re drinking it outside, anyway.
When lime is exposed to excessive UV light, like on a sunny beach, it can cause a condition called phytophotodermatitis. It’s a word that sounds like a mouthful, but is also more commonly known as “margarita burn.”
The result is something that looks like a chemical burn. It can cause an itchy, burning rash on your skin when the lime juice comes into contact with your skin.
You can prevent this from happening by putting some sunscreen on any places where lime juice might touch your skin, or simply choosing a drink without lime in it when you’re outside.
There are many reasons fans of the beer say they have to order a lime with their Corona. Those reasons can be taste, a desire to fit in, or the pleasing aroma of the lime.
Whatever the reason, just make sure you don’t get lime juice on your skin while you’re out enjoying the sun. Doing so can cause you to get a painful rash.