It’s surprising that we’ve never actually covered a gimlet before. This classic gin cocktail usually features two or three ingredients, depending on how you make it– super simple!

Gimlet cocktail with lime wedges

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HISTORY OF THE GIMLET COCKTAIL

The history of this cocktail and the etymology for gimlet (the word) is super interesting. Traditionally, it is made with Rose’s lime juice, which came out in 1867, but fresh lime juice and simple syrup are also commonly used today. 

Although Rose’s was developed in 1867 as a way to help sailors fight scurvy, the word gimlet wasn’t actually used to describe a cocktail until 1928– but sailors were probably drinking it long before it had a name! After all, it’s a lot more fun to ingest citrus with alcohol.

This lemon-yellow gin cocktail, the Gimlet, gets its color from rose's lime syrup-3

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Chris elaborates on this awesome history in this week’s how-to video, so make sure to click the video link in this article.

This is probably a good time to mention that, although Rose’s makes bottled lime juice, nothing is as good as freshly-squeezed lime juice. It really can’t compare. 

Slice of lime on a bar with cocktail glass

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GIMLET INGREDIENTS

The definition of gimlet refers to a small, sharp tool used for drilling holes– so it’s possible this classic cocktail borrowed this name because of the sharp bite it gives.

After all– in terms of cocktail families— it is a gin sour. A sour consists of base spirit, acid/sour component (typically lime or lemon juice), and a sweetener. In this case, we’re using one ounce simple syrup to combat the acidity of the lime

Gimlet cocktail drink with 2 ounces gin and a lime wedge

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And if you’re into sours but prefer lemons instead, check out our recipe for the Tom Collins cocktail; it’s very similar to a Gimlet but switches out the one ounce lime juice for only 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice and a splash of soda water instead. 

Side note: A vodka gimlet is a common replacement for the classic gimlet drink, so if you’re not into gin, feel free to substitute vodka instead. While gin is traditional, it’ll still be a delicious cocktail either way. (Sorry, cocktail purists, but we believe in drinking what makes you happy.)

We’ve also seen other gimlet recipes including fresh basil (aptly named the basil gimlet) or cucumber, so don’t be afraid to try some gimlet variations. 

Two Gimlet versions in cocktail glasses, one with homemade lime juice with store bought lime juice and 2 ounces of gin-6

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GIMLET RECIPE

 

Today, Chris will show you how to make a gimlet cocktail– with variations! He has the traditional version plus a more modern option for you. Make sure to stay till the end of the video to see different gimlet recipes.

Traditional Gimlet:

  • 2 oz of gin
  • 2 oz Rose’s lime juice
  • Directions: Stir this two-ingredient cocktail in a mixing glass with ice for dilution. Pour into a coupe glass.

This isn’t Chris’ favorite, but hey, you might prefer it!

Note on simple syrup and glassware: This classic recipe requires very little prep time except for making the syrup ahead of time. It’s really easy, so don’t buy it! It’s just one cup sugar to one cup water, boiled until the white sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool and/or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

As for glassware, we prefer a coupe glass or Nick and Nora for a variety of reasons, but if you don’t have those on hand, a martini glass will also suffice. And if you like a chilled glass, make sure to pop it in the freezer ahead of time.

Bartender holding a Gimlet with cocktail glass garnish of lime wheel in a cocktail pub-5

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So if you’re ready for a little bite of lime, here’s the recipe to your new favorite gin cocktail with fresh lime. So head over to our shop to get your bar tools, grab your cocktail glass, and start mixing!

(And don’t forget, you can also make a vodka gimlet instead– or in addition.)

Other variations:

Let us know in the comments how you feel about these two versions of the Gimlet and if you have a favorite cocktail that follows the same formula. Cheers!

Boston Shaker

4 PIECE CRAFT BAR SET

The best of the basics. This core kit includes the three tools you need to make most common cocktails: a trusty two-piece Boston shaker, a Hawthorne strainer with extra-tight spring and a two-sided Jigger with measurement lines all the way down to 1/4 oz!

Gimlet

Shake all ingredients and strain into a Nick and Nora or coupe glass.
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Servings: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2.00 oz Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a Boston shaker filled with ice
  • Shake to chill and dilute
  • Strain with a Hawthorn strainer into a Nick and Nora glass and garnish with a lime slice