Gimlet

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Cocktail History

The Gimlet is a classic cocktail that was created in the mid-1800s. Cocktail historians claim the recipe, traditionally made with a mixture of gin, lime, and simple syrup, was developed as a way to get sailors to drink lime juice in order to prevent scurvy while away at sea. The theory is widely accepted because it’s also cited that the drink was named for Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette, a doctor who treated sailors in the navy in the 19th century.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is a spirit made with juniper berries, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Tanglin Gin Black Powder Gin because it’s a well-rounded high-proof spirit with bright citrus notes and a noticeable black pepper finish. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Simple Syrup: This is a sweetener made with white sugar and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Lime Slice: This is a slice of lime that has been cut into a half wheel shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Tasting Notes

This Gimlet features citrus and botanical aromas plus the indistinguishable smoothness of the gin, with its juniper note at the forefront and savory peppery finish at the end, while the citrus and other botanicals are complimented by the lime and sugar.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both enjoyed this tart gin cocktail. While sipping the Gimlet, we couldn’t help imagining we’d landed at a busy port and were enjoying the local spirits before heading back to sea.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“This is one of the most essential and well-known gin cocktails there is, next to the Martini and the Gin & Tonic. While Gimlets in a bar or home are often made with Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice, the only way to do it is with fresh lime juice and simple syrup. The main reason is the fresh lime’s raw tartness is so important because it gives the herbal gin a refreshing backbone; the premixed juice, in my opinion, just makes a sugary lime-tinged drink. The Gimlet has been saving the lives of sailors for centuries, according to the stories, and it continues to be a great and simple recipe.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“There are three classic gin cocktails that are really similar (this one, the Gin Daisy, and the Southside), and of all of them, I think the Gimlet lands in the middle for me. It has a nice, bright, and citrusy gin-heavy flavor that feels very well-balanced and straightforward compared to the others. I would love to try several different gins in this template to get a feel for their nuances. It’s simple and tasty, and it’s hard not to enjoy if you love gin like I do.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 1 Lime Wedge

Method
1

Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lime wedge.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lime Juice
 1 Lime Wedge

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lime wedge.

Gimlet

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

More Classic Cocktails

If you like this classic cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

Brooklyn: A rye cocktail made with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Amer Picon

Blood & Sand Cocktail Recipe

Blood & Sand: A Scotch cocktail made with cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, orange juice, and a cherry

Boo Radley Cocktail Recipe

Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

Brain Duster Cocktail Recipe

Brain Duster: A rye cocktail made with absinthe, sweet vermouth, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a lemon twist

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