If you’ve ever had the unique pleasure of visiting a dive bar, then you might have seen other patrons taking shots of tequila with lime and salt. There’s a ritual involved: the person licks salt either off their hand or the glass, downs the shot, and then bites into a lime wedge.
It’s done almost exactly the same way time after time all over the country. But not many people have stopped to ask why this ritual has evolved in bars nationally.
We dove into the background of this tradition and discovered why limes go with tequila. We’ll spill all the details in this article.
Quick Answer: Why do Limes Go with Tequila?
Downing a shot of tequila with lime isn’t always the norm. The reason we do it is because the tequila that’s most often in bars is cheap and unpalatable. Lime and salt help cover the pungent taste.
With pure Mexican tequila, though, there’s no need to cover the taste.
How to Drink Tequila with Lime
If you’re drinking cheap tequila at a bar, you need to do it a certain way so that you can stomach it. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it involves salt, lime, and of course, the tequila.
There are two ways to lick the salt. Some bars will salt the rim of the shot glass, but in others, you lick your hand to wet part of it, then sprinkle salt on so it sticks. Then you lick the salt from your hand and take the shot.
Once you’ve taken the shot, bite the lime wedge. The juice of the lime will fill your mouth, covering the taste of the tequila.
Read Also: Why are Limes Called Lemons in Mexico?
The Details on Real Tequila…and Why It Doesn’t Need Lime
The reason the tequila used in bars across the country tastes so cheap is that it’s probably not 100% real tequila. In Mexico, quality tequila is made from the blue weber agave plant.
Pure Mexican tequila is a drink that’s designed to be sipped and savored, much like brandy. The taste is far easier to stomach, too, because it’s much fruitier.
If you can find a bar that offers it, pure tequila is a great way to heighten your experience with the drink. Just remember that you should try drinking it alone – no limes or salt included.
Read Also: Why are Limes Added to Corona?
The next time you go to a bar, you’ll know why tequila shots are often taken with lime and salt. You’ll also know that, if you’re looking for an authentic experience, you can see if the bar offers pure tequila.
If it does, be sure to give it a try. You might discover your new favorite drink.