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The Rose family started out as shipbuilders near Edinburgh and trading in lime juice was a natural compliment to this line of business. Regulations required all ocean vessels to carry lime juice to prevent scurvy, and so Lauchlin Rose set up a branch of the family business in providing ships with these provisions.

As demand increased Lauchlin Rose began marketing a sweetened, bottled version to the general public which proved popular and so Rose's Lime Cordial was born.