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Welcome to the world of the Gimlet, a classic cocktail that epitomizes simplicity and taste. This refreshing drink is a blend of gin and lime, perfect for sipping on a warm day or as a palate cleanser before dinner. Let’s dive into the crisp, tart flavors that make the Gimlet a beloved choice for many.

The Gimlet has stood the test of time, maintaining its popularity for its straightforward yet delightful combination of ingredients. Whether you’re a gin aficionado or new to the spirit, this cocktail is sure to impress with its balance and zest. Join us as we explore the Gimlet, from its storied history to tips on perfecting your pour.

Key Facts About the Gimlet

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 17% ABV (34 proof)

Calories: Approximately 150 kcal

Glass Type: Chilled cocktail glass or old-fashioned glass

Garnish: Lime wheel or wedge

Interesting Facts about the Gimlet

The Gimlet was originally created as a means to prevent scurvy among sailors in the British Royal Navy. The combination of gin and lime was not only tasty but also a health measure. Today, it’s enjoyed for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes.

Some believe the name “Gimlet” comes from the tool used to tap barrels of spirits on Navy ships, symbolizing the drink’s naval origins. Others suggest it was named after British Royal Navy Surgeon Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette, who allegedly introduced this drink as a way to entice sailors to take their daily dose of lime juice.

Gimlet Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Gimlet is a study in balance, with the sharpness of the gin softened by the sweetness of the syrup and the tartness of the lime. It’s a cocktail that’s both refreshing and bracing, ideal for those who appreciate the botanicals in gin.

Perfect for cocktail hour or a summer gathering, the Gimlet is versatile and universally appealing. Its citrus notes make it a great accompaniment to light appetizers or seafood dishes.

History of the Gimlet

The Gimlet has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Its creation is often linked to the British Navy and their need to combat scurvy. The preservation of lime juice with alcohol led to the birth of this classic cocktail.

Over time, the Gimlet evolved from a medicinal concoction to a staple in the cocktail world. It gained popularity in the post-Prohibition era, becoming a symbol of sophistication and simplicity in the cocktail scene.

Gimlet Ingredients

  • Gin: 2 oz (60 ml) – The base spirit, gin provides the botanical backdrop that defines the Gimlet’s character.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Adds a fresh, zesty tang that is essential to the cocktail’s flavor profile.
  • Simple Syrup or Lime Cordial: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Sweetens the drink and balances the acidity of the lime juice.
  • Garnish: Lime wheel or wedge – A visual and flavorful complement to the drink’s citrus notes.

Did you know? The Gimlet is often associated with the phrase “A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.” This quote from Raymond Chandler’s novel “The Long Goodbye” has influenced how many view the traditional Gimlet recipe.

Gimlet Cocktail Ingredients

Gimlet Method

Creating the perfect Gimlet is an exercise in precision and care. Here’s how to craft this classic cocktail:

  1. Start by filling a cocktail shaker with ice to chill the ingredients and dilute the drink to the perfect strength.
  2. Pour the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup or lime cordial into the shaker, ensuring precise measurements for balance.
  3. Shake the mixture vigorously until the shaker feels cold to the touch, indicating the drink is well-chilled.
  4. Strain the liquid into your chosen glass, which should be chilled to maintain the cocktail’s temperature.
  5. Finish by garnishing with a lime wheel or wedge, adding a final touch of citrus aroma and flavor.

Serving Suggestion

The Gimlet is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, which helps maintain its cool temperature. The stem of the glass also prevents the warmth of your hand from affecting the drink.

For garnish, a simple lime wheel or wedge complements the drink’s flavors without overpowering the delicate balance of gin and lime.

Elevating the Gimlet

To elevate your Gimlet, consider the following professional tips:

  • Use Premium Gin: Select a high-quality gin with a flavor profile that complements the lime juice.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always opt for fresh lime juice over bottled for a brighter, more authentic taste.
  • Experiment with Syrups: Try different syrups or homemade lime cordials to add a unique twist to your Gimlet.

Elevated Gimlet Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Gimlet

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try something new, consider these substitutions:

  • Replace gin with vodka for a less botanical version known as a Vodka Gimlet.
  • Use honey or agave syrup instead of simple syrup for a different kind of sweetness.
  • For a non-alcoholic version, use a non-alcoholic gin alternative and adjust the sweetener to taste.

Similar cocktails include the Daiquiri, which swaps rum for gin, and the Margarita, which features tequila and triple sec.

Add a twist

As an expert mixologist, consider these creative spins on the classic Gimlet:

  • Infuse your simple syrup with herbs like basil or rosemary for an aromatic twist.
  • Add a splash of soda water for a fizzy Gimlet variation.
  • Muddle fresh berries before shaking for a fruity Gimlet.

Preferred Liquors for the Gimlet

The best Gimlets are made with high-quality gin. Look for brands that offer a balance of juniper and other botanicals to complement the lime juice. Some top choices include Tanqueray, Hendrick’s, and Bombay Sapphire.

Similar Cocktails to the Gimlet

If you enjoy the Gimlet, you might also like:

  • The Martini, for its gin-forward profile and elegance.
  • The Tom Collins, with its refreshing combination of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water.
  • The French 75, which adds champagne into the mix for a celebratory twist.

Food Pairings to go with the Gimlet

The Gimlet pairs well with a variety of foods. Consider these options:

  • Light appetizers like shrimp cocktail or ceviche to complement the citrus notes.
  • Spicy dishes to balance the Gimlet’s tartness and sweetness.
  • Simple cheese platters or bruschetta for a casual gathering.

Gimlet FAQs

Can I make a Gimlet with vodka? Yes, substituting gin with vodka will give you a Vodka Gimlet, which is smoother and less botanical.

Is it better to shake or stir a Gimlet? Shaking the Gimlet with ice chills it quickly and adds a slight dilution, which is desirable for this cocktail.

Can I use bottled lime juice? Fresh lime juice is preferred for its vibrant flavor, but bottled can be used in a pinch.

How can I make my Gimlet sweeter? Adjust the amount of simple syrup or lime cordial to taste for a sweeter cocktail.

What’s the best gin for a Gimlet? A gin that you enjoy on its own will make for a great Gimlet. Consider trying different brands to find your favorite.




A classic Gimlet is a simple yet refreshing cocktail that combines gin with a splash of lime juice, often sweetened with simple syrup or lime cordial. The drink is straightforward, tart, and a perfect choice for gin lovers.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine International
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 150 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass or old-fashioned glass


  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup or lime cordial
  • Lime wheel or wedge, for garnish


  • Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  • Add the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup or lime cordial to the shaker.
  • Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or an old-fashioned glass over ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.


For a sweeter Gimlet, you can adjust the amount of simple syrup or lime cordial to taste. Some prefer a 1:1 ratio of gin to lime cordial for a traditional Gimlet. Always use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
Keyword Citrus, Classic Cocktail, Easy Recipe, Gimlet, Gin, Lime Cordial, Lime Juice, Mixed Drink, Refreshing, Simple Syrup, Spirit, Tart, Traditional Cocktail

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