Shopping List For Gin Gimlets:
- Zero calorie all-natural simple syrup
- Lime wheel
Now that you know whats a gimlet made with, and what to use as a gimlet garnish, lets move onto how to make a gimlet cocktail at home
Special Tip: Make sure to pick up some 0 calorie simple syrup if youre looking to make this gin gimlet recipe low in calories. You can click on the picture above to find out more.
Up next, youll learn how to make a gimlet drink at home
What Is A Gimlet
A gin gimlet is a classic cocktail made of lime juice, gin and simple syrup. Its sometimes served with a splash of soda water. While it became popular in the 1950s, a recipe for a gin gimlet cocktail was included in a 1930s cocktail book, so it stems back to at least that far!
Where does the name gimlet come from? Some sources thinks it comes from a man named Surgeon Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette, who started serving it to sailors to prevent scurvy. Another idea: a tool called the gimlet! It was used for drilling small holes on navy ships, and it could refer to the drinks piercing effect on sailors. Whatever the case, the gimlet has now solidified itself as one of historys great gin cocktails.
What Type Of Glass Is A Gimlet Served In
A gin gimlet is traditionally served in a cocktail glass, which is similar shape to a martini glass. Theyre slightly different: a cocktail glass is slightly smaller and more rounded, and a martini glass is more of a cone shape and has a shorter stem. Either way, theres no need to buy a cocktail glass for this one if you have a martini glass!
Of course, you can serve this gin gimlet cocktail in whatever glass you like and its still a gimlet! Our Basil Gimletwhich wed heartily recommend, by the way!we served in an Old Fashioned glass.
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The Best Gin For A Gimlet
Basil Gimlets are interesting because they can work with gins that are either more citrusy or more botanical.
A classic, simple choice is Beefeater London Dry Gin. Its easy to get your hands on, and a midrange price point. It also creates a nice base to highlight both the citrusy lime and fresh basil flavors.
You could also try to make your own gin and see how you prefer this option!
The Gin Cocktails We All Love
Someone recently told me on Instagram that Im doing the Lords work with all of these gin cocktail recipes and it made me laugh out loud!
I kind of get it though I started this gin cocktail series because I feel like gin never gets the love that it deserves! If youve had a bad gin cocktail or a negative first experience with it, its easy to write gin off entirely.
Mixed poorly, I understand the general takeaway that gin is overpowering or just tastes like a forest of pine trees.
But mixed well? Ooooh, baby! Gin makes some of the most refreshing and drinkable cocktails around, in my opinion.
You can find a whole library of our best gin cocktails here:
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What To Drink After A Gimlet
For those who love gin, we chatted to producers Slingsby for their top gin cocktail recipes.
If you enjoyed the citrusy Gimlet recipe, we also think youll love a Lemon Drop.
This invigorating, tangy cocktail, created in the 1970s by San Francisco resident Norman Jay Hobday, Vietnam veteran turned bar owner, is relished by those with a penchant for all things sour.
Hobdays popular bar, Henry Africas, was known to serve crisp drinks such as piña coladas, daiquiris, and, of course, his own marvellous creation, the delightfully sour Lemon Drop.
All youll need to make a Lemon Drop is vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup and some sugar to garnish the rim of a cocktail glass.
Simple, but oh so delicious!
Lucy Jones is a writer and cocktail fanatic with a love for anything sour.
What’s The History Of The Gimlet
Like every other classic cocktail, the gimlet comes with a handful of competing origin stories. The most credible is its creation, in the 1880s, at the hands of Royal Navy surgeon Sir Thomas Gimlette, who encouraged his mates to take their gin rations with a healthy dash of scurvy-preventing lime juice. Lauchlin Roses lime juice cordial, invented just a decade earlier, helped make that possible, at the same time sweetening the drink and preserving the citrus.
As for its origins, you can think of the gimlet as a sweet gin rickey , or another in a long line of descendants of the sour, one of the main cocktail families. Originally a 50-50 mix of gin and lime cordial, modern preferences for drier drinks have seen the proportion of lime cordial track ever downward.
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The Gin Gimlet A Deliciously Classic Cocktail
Cocktails dont get much more classic than the Gin Gimlet. Comprised of just three ingredients, a Gimlet is the perfect strong yet refreshing aperitivo for a beautiful spring day.
Although the origin of the Gimlet isnt crystal clear, its believed to have been invented out of necessity. Late 18th Century British soldiers needed the vitamin C in citrus to prevent scurvy. How better to get them to drink lime juice than to mix it with vodka!
Commercial Lime Cordial Doesnt Taste Good
If I ask you to picture a bottle of lime cordial, youll probably see a neon green bottle with Roses in big letters. Roses was the OG lime cordial its patent was filed back in the late 1800s, and its the very same stuff the Brits used at sea, so its authenticity is unimpeachable. But in the intervening 150 years, Roses cordial recipe has gone from zesty fresh lime preserved in sugar to a mess of high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and preservatives that taste as artificial as they look. If you want good lime cordial, youre going to have to make it yourself.
A proper lime cordial combines the refreshing sourness of lime juice with the bitter complexity of lime zest, all balanced by the proper proportion of sweetness. Its sublime, easy to make, and can be used in all sorts of cocktails. An added benefit of using it in place of fresh lime is that it lasts a lot longer in the fridge, so youll have cocktails for weeks if you make a big enough batch. Once youve got your cordial, making a gimlet with it is a cinch. Check out the recipes below.
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Up Your Cocktail Game: How To Make The Perfect Gimlet
For such a straightforward drink, this ones shockingly easy to mess up. A gimlet is a classic gin cocktail made with gin and lime . Seems simple, right? The problem is, even once you settle on the best base spirit for a gimlet, theres little consensus on what else goes into the drink. Some purists call for gin and a squeeze of fresh lime, an enamel-stripping combination thats way too sour for most. Others demand a mixture of gin and artificial lime cordial, which is classic but also saccharine and off-tasting. When you order a gimlet at a craft cocktail bar these days, youre likely to get gin shaken with lime juice and simple syrup. While thats tasty, its also boring. A perfect gimlet is better, brighter, and more enticingly bitter than any of these poseurs, and were gonna find it.
Find The Best Quality Gin
Because this gin gimlet cocktail is so simple, its all about quality here. The better the gin, the better the drink. The easiest way to tell if a gin is high quality? Dont buy the cheapest gin on the shelf. Try to invest in a mid-price range gin: the drink will only taste as good as the gin you invest in!
If you live in a city that has local distilleries, be on the lookout for local spirits! We used gin from 8th Day Distillery here in Indianapolis.
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Try It Naturally Sweet Or Use Simple Syrup
Alex and I love naturally sweetened drinks, so we love using pure maple syrup in most of our cocktail recipes. It sweetens drinks in a gentler way than simple syrup and it gives it a more nuanced flavor. When we taste test back to back, maple syrup always wins! Simple syrup has a more straightforward flavor: you can use it if you prefer!
More classic cocktails? Try these Classic Lime Cocktails.
Best Gin For Gimlet Cocktails
The best gin for gimlets comes down to your personal preference, but popular options for gimlet recipes include affable Bombay Sapphire, reliable Hendricks, and Bluecoat, an American-made gin named for the Bluecoat revolutionaries who pushed back Redcoat British during the War of Independence.
Whichever gin you choose for your gimlet cocktail, be aware that the sugar content here will mask the gins inherent flavors.
While sweetness makes a gin gimlet a popular cocktail for warm-weather events, it also means you dont and perhaps shouldnt pay top dollar for a juniper-forward gin.
We suggest you find a quality gin for an affordable price, such as Beefeater it blends exceptionally well with citrus-based mixers, making it an ideal choice for gin gimlets.
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Recipe Tips And Variations
- Yield: This recipe makes 1 cocktail.
- Glassware: A Gimlet is perfect in a cocktail glass such as a coupe or martini glass.
- Big batch: To make a batch of 8 cocktails, combine 20 ounces gin, 4 ounces fresh lime juice, and 4 ounces simple syrup in a pitcher. Have ice, glassware, and lime wheels on hand so guests can help themselves.
- On the rocks: For a gimlet on the rocks, use a rocks glass or a stemless wine tumbler.
- Vodka gimlet: Substitute vodka for the gin.
- Daiquiri: Substitute white rum for the gin. Or, try the Hemingway Daiquiri which has grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur.
- Southside: Add some fresh leaves to the cocktail shaker with the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
- Gimlet with Roses Lime Juice:To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 2 ½ ounces gin and 1 ounce Roses sweetened lime juice. Shake vigorously until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
The History Of The Gimlet
The Gimlet was born and popularised at some point in the 19th Century.
Citrus fruit and juice was a commonplace with sailors during this time, as it was used to fight of scurvy.
Add some sort of booze to it was always going to happen. Especially with sailors.
Perhaps you would picture sailors mixing Rum with some sort of citrus juice as Rum is the stereotypical sailors tipple, but no. In this case, it was Gin.
Its thought that it was Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette who introduced Gin to the citrus juice. Gimlette was a naval medical officer who prescribed Gin with the lime juice to “help the medicine go down.”
A helluva doctor.
Its also alleged that the Gimlet cocktail was named after Gimlette because of this.
Other stories suggest that the Gimlet is named after the tool used to tap the barrels of spirits carried on British Naval Ships.
Perhaps it was a combination of both?
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What Are The Different Variations Of Gimlet
There are multiple variations of the Gimlet cocktail drink, including The Richmond Gimlet, A Basil Gimlet, Vodka Gimlet, and Ancho Gimlet. To variate a Gimlet cocktail drink, the bartender should change some of the ingredients. For a kick, add a pungent dash of ginger juice. Combine the gin with something like Hangar One’s Kaffir Lime, or infuse with Kaffir lime zest or lime leaves. Add a dash of vermouth and/or orange bitters for an extra layer of flavour.
The History Of The Gimlet Recipe
Like many popular drinks, the Gimlet has various supposed origin stories. Perhaps the most widely shared is its naval origins.
The Gimlet was consumed by British naval officers in the 19th-century as the vitamin C-rich citrus in the lime prevented them from catching scurvy, a sailors worst nightmare when traversing the high seas.
Instead of sucking on limes, sailors would receive a small ration of sweetened lime juice to ward off the hideous disease.
So, naturally, many sailors chose to mix their ration of sweetened lime juice with gin , and, just like that, the Gimlet was born.
So, if youre looking for a good excuse to drink a Gimlet not that you need one, of course you can tell people its because you need a quick vitamin C boost.
The drink eventually made its way into popular cocktail books, including The Savoy Cocktail Book, a fascinating written record of 750 cocktails that Londoners couldnt get enough of during the 1930s.
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A Drinkable Traditional Gimlet
If youd like to use the traditional ingredients, pick up a bottle of Roses Lime Cordial and a bottle of Plymouth Gin. Any London Dry Gin will do if you dont have Plymouth on hand. Next, measure out 2 ounces gin and 1 ounce Roses. Shake the ingredients with plenty of ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
While the original Gimlet called for equal parts gin and Roses, its a bit too sweet for modern tastes. Scaling the sweetened lime juice back to an ounce makes the drink much more enjoyable.
Keep in mind that any bottled citrus juice wont taste like fresh, and Roses is no exception. It has a characteristic sharpness and tang about it that some folks really enjoy. However, if youre into crafting your own cocktails, I recommend picking up a few limes along with that bottle of Roses and trying this perfectly balanced modern Gimlet recipe next.
If James Bond Solidified The Martinis Place In Cocktail History Then Private Detective Philip Marlowe Put The Gimlet On The Map In The Long Goodbye
Most historians believe Chandler had a habit of blurring the line between his own life and that of his main character, Philip Marlowe, and one thing they definitely had in common was an affinity for the Gimlet. Chandler popularized the drink in 1953 when he had the detective famously say A real Gimlet is half gin and half Roses Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats Martinis hollow. With that, the Gimlet became an instant symbol for manliness. As the novel continued to gain notoriety, the Gimlet quickly followed.
Raymond Chandler may have helped boost the Gimlets popularity, but he was not the creator of this classic cocktail. Its believed that the British Royal Navy was the first to concoct the sweet-tart lime libation. Its unclear whether the Gimlet was named after a tool of the same name or after the famous surgeon, Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette. Gimlette used a combination of lime cordial and gin to treat sailors suffering from scurvy.
This unfortunate illness is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, common in those whod been out at sea with no access to fruit. Limes are very high in Vitamin C, so the Gimlet became sailors common cure. In 1867, Roses Lime Juice was created as a way to preserve lime juice without alcohol. The Navy was quick to utilize it, not only to treat scurvy, but also to cut down the strength of the Navys 114 proof gin.
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Gimlet Variations To Try:
- Double Lemon Gimlet– This lemon-yellow gin cocktail from guru Natalie Migliarini features dessert flavors from tart lemon curd and a dash of vanilla.
- The Winter Gimlet – Just because temperatures are dropping doesnt mean you have to abandon citrusy gin cocktails like the Gimlet. Learn how to make a winterized version with this recipe.
- The Groovy Gimlet – This tropical riff on the classic Gimlet cocktail recipe features toasted coconut syrup.
How To Make A Gimlet
What does a gin gimlet taste like? Its tangy and sweet, with an aroma of gin but balanced on the back end. Its pretty botanical and gin forward, so youll want to use a great bottle of gin. If youre not a fan of strong drinks, wed recommend trying the gin fizz instead. Or, you can add a splash of soda water to mellow out the flavors in this cocktail!
Heres how to make a gin gimlet cocktail :
- Add gin, lime juice, and syrup to a cocktail shaker, and shake with ice.
- Pour into a glass and add a splash of soda water if desired.
- Garnish with a lime wheel.
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How To Make A Basil Gimlet Cocktail
Lets make one!
- 1 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- extra basil for garnish
Gin Gimlet Or Vodka Gimlet
This is going to be a question that only you can answer, as opinions are many and they are strong.
Unless you specifically request vodka, most bartenders will likely serve this with gin, for good reason. It is the gin that makes this a balanced, more soulful drink with a soupçon of complexity, elegance, and even strength. A great gimlet depends on the balance between juniper and fresh citrus: Too much of the former, and it is overly stiff too much of the latter, and it is too tart. To a gin purist, vodka would be like signing yourself up for a boring blind date.
To the vodka camp, gin talks a bit too much, dominates the conversation preferable are the more subtle airs of a good, clean, ice-cold vodka.
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