Ode to the Manual Citrus Press

Everyone seems very fond of their juicer/juice extractor, and I confess they seem quite lovely.  I, however, will remain smitten with my manual citrus press.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty enthusiastic about chopping things up and find it enjoyable and therapeutic.

I’m not certain, but I think with the fancy juicers like this one, mighty and gleaming though they may be, I would miss some of the laborious tasks a little bit.

It seems to me that a bowl full of fresh limes is just begging to be paid a little homage.  So, I’m more than happy to deliver.  More than a decade ago, I went to the Canton Trade Days event (highly recommend) on a mission to find an old-fashioned manual citrus press – and I was looking for a very specific kind.  These days, I could easily find it on Amazon – in fact, a quick search yielded this one in some fun, kitschy packaging for less than $25:

My faith in Canton, Texas as the place to find my citrus press did not disappoint, and I lugged it home (and through several houses since) with great glee.  These days, it lives on our bar and comes into duty most in the summer.  I take a good amount of joy out of halving limes and making a batch of fresh lime juice to keep in the fridge in a mason jar (obviously) for limeade or, um, adult beverages.

Find yourself a few tools for your kitchen that aren’t automated and force yourself to slow down.  In fact, my pal Julie over at Eggs and Herbs has been running a great series on summer drinks over on her beautiful blog.  May I recommend you start with her strawberry basil lemonade?

Incidentally, about manual tools: I have the same philosophy on kids – their toys shouldn’t entertain them, rather they should entertain themselves with the occasional toy.  For example, something from this list of The 5 Best Toys of All Time, which includes: the stick, the cardboard box, string, the cardboard tube and (drumroll please) dirt.  Kids definitely won’t develop the sort of imagination and self-confidence they’ll need later in life if they aren’t occasionally sent outside to entertain themselves with nothing more than the clothes they’re wearing (which, er, will preferably stay on said children).  But hey, that’s a rant better suited to The Little Magpie.

Happy juice extracting, whatever method you choose!



  1. What a great press! And I love Canton! Richie has a 2nd cousin that lives right near there. I have NOT made my strawberry basil lemonade this year! I’m “revitalizing” my raised beds this year and didnt plant any basil. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? (Thanks for the link love!)

    1. What WERE you thinking?! Basil is a must!! Hmm… maybe an ARWB meetup in Canton is in order…


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