A Gimlet Cocktail is one of the simplest there is. With only three ingredients, this one is all about quality! The flavor of the gin has a huge impact on the drink, so make sure you use one that you really enjoy.
This is actually one of the oldest modern cocktails, and was widely used to prevent scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) by the British Navy in the 1800's. Lime juice is packed with vitamin C, but rather than drinking the juice on its own, the sailors would mix it together with gin.
Because it's such a simple drink, it's stayed popular for all this time, and for good reason! It's quick and easy to make, and always refreshing to sip on.
Another classic cocktail to try featuring lime juice and gin is the Last Word. It's a little more sweet than a Gimlet, with a couple of specialty liqueurs, but it's worth the effort! I also can't help mentioning the Classic Margarita, one of my favorite lime cocktails of all time.
Since there are only three ingredients in this drink, each one is important. While you can adjust the amounts to your taste, it always comes down to these three:
- Lime juice
- Simple syrup
A note about Rose's: There is a passage in Raymond Chandler's 1953 book, The Long Goodbye, in which a character says that the Gimlet is a mix of half gin and half Rose's Lime Cordial. Nowadays, the U.S. version of Rose's uses different ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. But if you can get your hands on a Rose's that was not produced in the U.S., it is still pretty close to the original. (The one I have linked above is the U.K. version, which is why it's so much more expensive for anyone in the U.S.!)
Personally, I will always go for the fresh ingredients, but Rose's is still loved by many!
- Gin - if you really don't like gin, you're going to want to substitute it out here, since it's the main flavor. Give a Vodka Gimlet a try, or a Tequila Gimlet is great too. Just substitute the spirits in an equal amount to the gin.
- Lime juice - you can use lemon juice, although it won't be quite as tart as the lime juice.
- Simple syrup - you can use a sugar substitute (like allulose or erythritol) syrup, or use a spoonful of honey instead if you are avoiding refined sugars.
There are a ton of ways to create variations on this drink, since it's so simple. Jazz it up however you like!
- Spicy Gimlet - infuse your gin with fresh jalapeños for a deliciously spiced-up version.
- Cranberry Gimlet - give your drink a little bit of fall flavor with a half ounce of cranberry juice added in to the mix.
- Ginger Gimlet - add in a teaspoon of ginger juice for a tasty zing.
Since this drink has citrus juice, you'll want to shake it with ice. You'll need a cocktail shaker, a strainer, and a cocktail serving glass. I double-strained using a fine-mesh strainer underneath the regular strainer to get out more of the lime pulp, but that is totally optional.
Start out by cutting your lime garnish. For this, you'll just need to cut a slice of lime so it looks like a wheel. Set the lime wheel aside and prepare the rest of the drink.
Juice the rest of your lime, measure it and add it to your cocktail shaker. Then, add the simple syrup to the shaker.
Finally, add the gin to your cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, seal it up and give it 15-20 good shakes to chill and dilute the drink.
Strain the drink into your cocktail serving glass, add the lime wheel garnish, and serve immediately.
Hint: You can also cut a large piece of lime rind and twist it over your serving glass after pouring the cocktail. This will cause some of the lime oil from the rind to spray over the drink, giving it an extra punch of lime flavor and aroma.
Although you could serve this in any cocktail glass, a stemmed glass like a coupe glass or a Martini glass are more traditional. Since it's served up, without ice, this allows you to hold the drink without your hand warming up the drink! Just be sure to use a smaller size glass, and not a jumbo 8-ounce glass, or it will look like a tiny amount of liquid in a giant glass. Look for a 4 or 5 ounce glass for this drink.
- Cocktail serving glass
- lime wheel garnish
- 2 ounces gin
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup equal amounts of sugar and water
- Cut the lime in half crosswise, and cut about a ¼ inch thick slice of lime so it looks like a wheel.lime wheel garnish
- Cut a slit in the lime wheel from the center to the edge and set aside.
- Juice the lime and measure out the lime juice, and add it to the cocktail shaker.½ ounce lime juice
- Add the simple syrup and gin to the cocktail shaker.½ ounce simple syrup, 2 ounces gin
- Fill the rest of the shaker with ice, seal it and give it about 15-20 good shakes.
- Strain the drink into your serving glass. If you have a fine mesh strainer, you can double strain by holding it under the stream as you pour it into the serving glass.
- Add your lime wheel garnish, and serve immediately.