Raise your glass with this surprisingly simple yet utterly sophisticated cocktail, the Gimlet.
Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not masterful. The Gimlet only has a few ingredients, but it’s all about balance and flavor, with the gin and the lime offering a killer combination of spirit, sweet, and sour.
But before we dive into the how-to’s for the Gimlet, let’s explore a bit of its history. Folks are divided about why the drink is called the gimlet (pronounced with a hard “g”). There’s a tool called the gimlet that is used for drilling small holes, and some say the cocktail was named after the tool because of its “penetrating” effect on drinkers. But I like the second story better. It says that a Royal Navy surgeon named Sir Thomas Gimlette introduced the drink to his shipmates as an anti-scurvy medicine. Who knows which drink etymology is true, but the next time someone asks why I’m ordering a gimlet, I’m telling them it’s to stave off the scurvy.
Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe
With the classic template of spirit, citrus, and sugar, the Gimlet appeals to all the taste buds. It’s a tart and refreshing drink with perfect balance.
- A cocktail shaker
- A strainer
- A jigger or measuring tool
- A citrus twist tool or a sharp knife
- 2 oz gin
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup
- Lime twist for garnish
- Ice cubes
- Start by filling a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.
- Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass, using a strainer to catch any ice or debris.
- Garnish your Gimlet Cocktail with a lime twist or a lime wheel.
Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Gimlet Recipe
- You don’t need a lot of ingredients, so for the ones that you need, choose well. Use premium gin, freshly squeezed lime juice, and made-from-scratch simple syrup.
- Make sure to give your Gimlet a vigorous shake to incorporate all the ingredients, chill the drink, and let it dilute just a bit.
- Elevate your cocktails by chilling the glassware in the freezer for about 15 minutes before using.
- While the classic Gimlet calls for a twist of lime, feel free to experiment with different garnishes, such as edible flowers, a sprig of fresh mint, or a skewer of candied ginger.
I recommend a martini or coupe glass for the ultimate Gimlet experience.
Easy! Just heat 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then you’re ready to use your syrup immediately or you can keep it in the fridge for up to a month.
The type of gin is up to you! You can choose a gin with more botanicals or go for a London Dry gin, depending on your preference.
Gimlet Recipe Variations Worth Trying
- Vodka Gimlet: Swap gin for vodka.
- Gin Basil Gimlet: Add a handful of fresh basil leaves to the shaker.
- Healthy Low-carb Gimlet: Swap out the simple syrup for a splash of soda water and a natural sweetener like Stevia.
- Gimlet Mocktail: Replace the gin with a non-alcoholic spirit, such as Seedlip Garden.
How to Store
This is one drink that’s easy to prepare ahead. Mix the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, then store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to drink, put the mix in a shaker full of ice, give it a good shake, and serve.
Any leftovers should keep for a week or so in the fridge. Just remember to give it a good shake before pouring.