The Gimlet is one of those drinks you want in spring and summer, when all you need is a boozy, refreshing short drink — if citrusy, even better. Incredibly straightforward, the three-ingredient drink is all about freshness. There’s no doubt the Gimlet has aged well; it’s as popular today as it has ever been.
Known as the high-browed cousin of the tropical daiquiri, there’s certainly room for the Gimlet at any party, especially in backyard grilling get-togethers when thirst-quenching drinks are in order. Here’s all there is about the Gimlet, its history, variations and how to make it.
History of the Gimlet Cocktail
The Gimlet goes back to 1928 and was made with gin, lime juice and sugar. In the 1960s, people started making it with Rose’s lime juice cordial since fresh limes were not an easy find. You can still find recipes calling for Rose’s but most people in the bartender community agree fresh lime juice is always better.
As for the drink’s origin, most experts agree, someone in the Royal Navy combined gin with some type of lime juice or cordial to prevent sailors from getting scurvy. The sailors probably took their love for the Gimlet home, and it caught on.
The Gimlet is made with London Dry Gin or any gin for that matter. And with such a range of gin brands available to us today, there are endless possibilities here; choose your favorite gin!
Then you need lime juice, or if you’re feeling old-fashioned, a bottle or the now-rare Rose’s lime cordial. If you use lime juice, you’ll also need sugar or simple syrup. The cordial is already sweetened.
And that’s about it. This is the holy trinity of tropical drinks: a spirit, citrus juice and sugar. You need nothing else to create a great variety of refreshing drinks, from the whiskey sour and the Gimlet to the mojito!
Variations and Substitutions
The first variation for a Gimlet is choosing if you’re using Rose’s or lime juice. Rose’s lime cordial is pleasantly sweet but a bit artificial; the lime concentrate tastes nothing like freshly squeezed lime juice. You’re better off using real lime juice instead.
Now, listen to this, substitute the gin for rum, and you’ve got yourself a daiquiri! Substitute it for whiskey and use lemons instead of lime for a whiskey sour — top this one with soda for a whiskey rickey. Use rum and lime and add a few mint sprigs for a mean mojito. That’s the magic of sour drinks. You can make dozens of cocktails with just three or four ingredients.
- Cocktail shaker
- Coupe Glass
- 2 ounces of gin
- 1/2-ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2-ounce simple syrup
- Lime wheel for garnish
- Fill the coupe glass with ice water.
- Fill the shaker with ice and pour in the gin, lime juice and simple syrup.
- Shake for between 10 and 15 seconds.
- Throw out the ice water and pour the cocktail into the coupe glass through the strainer.
- Garnish with a lime wheel.