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Rethinking classic lime-centric cocktails to lose the lime can be a delicious money saver

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If the warmer weather has you wishing for a cool mojito or frosty margarita, you might also start wishing for some extra cash.

The cost of limes this spring has skyrocketed, pushing the price of some of our favourite summer sips to levels that could break the bank. But a cocktail should be a fun indulgence, not an investment decision. The good news is limes aren't the only citrus in the game. So we decided to keep our cool and create fresh — and refreshing — lime-free versions of some of our favourite cocktails.

We started with the gimlet, traditionally made from lime juice, gin and sugar. Our version — the green granny slush — mimics the sweet and sour of the traditional drink with a puree of kiwis and Granny Smith apples. Next, our version of the mojito gets it's vibrancy from rhubarb paired with cooling cucumber.

And since it just isn't summer without a margarita, we created a ruby red grapefruit-based "rubyrita" to help take the edge off. Finally, our daiquiri... Out with the pricy limes and in with a seasonal and deliciously tart raspberry puree. So maybe a lime-free summer won't be quite so disappointing!

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RUBY RITA

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

Kosher salt

Ice

2 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice

2 ounce reposado tequila

Spread a thin layer of salt in a small plate. Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with a touch of the grapefruit juice. Overturn the glass into the salt to coat. Set aside.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the grapefruit juice and tequila. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared cocktail glass.

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GREEN GRANNY SLUSH

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 2

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 kiwi, peeled and cut into chunks

3 ounces gin

1 cup ice

In a blender, combine the apple, kiwi and gin. Blend until smooth. Add the ice and blend until slushy. Divide between 2 tall glasses.

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CUCUMBER RHUBARB MOJITO

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 1

1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb (not peeled)

1 teaspoon sugar

3 slices cucumber

1 sprig fresh mint

2 ounces white rum

1 ounce rhubarb liqueur

Seltzer water

In a large cocktail shaker, muddle the rhubarb with the sugar until well smashed. Add the cucumber and mint, then bruise with the muddler. Add the rum and rhubarb liqueur and shake until well combined. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass filled with ice, then top with seltzer water. Stir gently to combine.

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RASPBERRY DAIQUIRI

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

2 teaspoons sugar

Ice

2 ounces white rum

In a blender, puree the raspberries with the sugar. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (or squeeze through several layers of cheesecloth) to remove the seeds. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the raspberry puree with the rum. Shake vigorously, then strain into a cocktail glass.

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