Lime-Tequila Mousse

If you celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a hearty meal of Mexican favorites, I suggest you finish on a light, sweet note with this airy, citrus and tequila-scented mousse.  It’s a simple custard, lightened with whipped cream, and set, ever so softly, with a wee bit of gelatin.  Because I’ve been on a culinary nostalgia tour this week, I took inspiration for this dessert from that classic cookbook of the Eighties, The Silver Palate Cookbook.  This is my slightly pared downed, Tequila-spiked version of their Lime Mousse.  It’s the perfect way to end a hearty and spicy meal.  You might even pour a little more Tequila, to enjoy alongside.

The texture is like a lime and tequila-flavored cloud.  It leaves you with a tart lime flavor and a hint of liquor, and just enough sweetness to be completely satisfying.  After all, what is the purpose of a dessert course?  It is to provide a change of texture, flavor, and temperature from the preceding courses.   This little gem of a dessert does all that, along with being easy and quick to prepare; it’s a complete do-ahead too.  Enjoy!

Lime-Tequila Mousse

A lime and tequila-scented custard, lightened with whipped cream, makes the perfect sweet-tart ending to a hearty, spicy meal.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 1 sheet silver-strength gelatin, soaked in cold water to soften (or soften 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin)
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream


  1. In the top of a double boiler, (or in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water), melt the butter.  Beat the eggs, egg yolk, and granulated sugar in a small bowl until light and foamy.  Add the egg mixture to the melted butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon.  This will take about 8 minutes. 

  2. Strain the custard through a fine sieve, into a small bowl.  Stir in the lime juice and zest, and the softened gelatin.  Stir to blend in and dissolve the gelatin.  To cool the mixture quickly, set the bowl into a larger bowl of ice and cold water, and stir the custard frequently until it reaches room temperature.  Add the tequila.  

  3. In a large, chilled mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to firm peaks.  Take care not to over whip.  Fold the cooled lime custard into the cream until the mixture is evenly combined.  Pour into 4 serving cups or glasses and chill at least 4 hours before serving.  Garnish with additional grated lime zest, if you like.

Recipe Notes

Make the mousse early in the day or the night before you plan to serve it, to allow sufficient time to chill.  You can find the original recipe at The Silver Palate Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.