Vodka Gimlet


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Introduction to the Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet is a timeless cocktail that marries the tang of lime with the clarity of vodka. This drink’s simplicity is deceptive; it’s a sophisticated blend that’s both refreshing and complex. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or new to the scene, the Vodka Gimlet is a must-try.

Its origins are as intriguing as its flavor profile, with roots that trace back to the days of sailors and scurvy. Today, it’s enjoyed worldwide, known for its crispness and versatility. Let’s dive into the world of the Vodka Gimlet and discover what makes it a beloved classic.

With just a few ingredients, the Vodka Gimlet is a testament to the power of simplicity in mixology. It’s a cocktail that doesn’t need frills to impress; its balance speaks for itself. Read on to learn how to craft this iconic drink and uncover its secrets.

Key Facts About the Vodka Gimlet

  • Alcohol Volume: 14% ABV (28 proof)
  • Calories: Approximately 150 per serving
  • Glass Type: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish: Lime wheel

Interesting Facts about the Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet has a storied past, with its name possibly originating from a tool used to drill small holes, alluding to its ‘piercing’ effect. It’s also been a medicinal staple at sea, where vitamin C-packed lime juice helped prevent scurvy among sailors. The cocktail has evolved into a social staple, from naval remedy to a symbol of elegance in the glass.

Vodka Gimlet Cocktail

Tasting Notes on the Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet is a study in balance, with a flavor profile that’s both sharp and smooth. The fresh lime juice provides a zesty punch, while the simple syrup softens the edges, creating a harmonious sip. Vodka, the backbone of this cocktail, offers a clean canvas that lets the lime shine.

This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a drink that’s straightforward yet refined. It’s suited for warm summer evenings, as a pre-dinner palate cleanser, or any occasion that calls for a touch of sophistication. The Vodka Gimlet is a versatile choice that appeals to a wide range of palates.

History of the Vodka Gimlet

The Gimlet has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Originally made with gin, the cocktail was a practical solution to make medicinal lime juice more palatable for sailors. The Vodka Gimlet emerged later, as vodka gained popularity in the West.

Its simplicity made it a hit in the post-war era, embodying the mid-century modern aesthetic: clean, efficient, and stylish. The Vodka Gimlet has remained a staple in the cocktail world, a testament to its enduring appeal.

While its exact origins may be murky, the Vodka Gimlet’s place in cocktail culture is crystal clear. It’s a drink that has stood the test of time, adapting to trends while maintaining its core identity.

Vodka Gimlet Ingredients

  • Vodka: 2 oz (60 ml) – The spirit base, providing a neutral, clean taste.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Adds a fresh, citrusy zing.
  • Simple Syrup: 1/2 oz (15 ml) – Balances the acidity with sweetness.
  • Garnish: Lime wheel – A visual and flavorful accent.

Did you know?

The Gimlet was mentioned in the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel “The Long Goodbye,” which helped cement its place in popular culture.

Ingredients for Vodka Gimlet

Vodka Gimlet Method


Begin by chilling your cocktail glass to ensure the drink stays cold. Measure out the vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup using a jigger for precision.


Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, then shake vigorously until the exterior is frosty, indicating the contents are well-chilled.


Strain the mixture into the prepared glass to achieve a smooth texture. The final touch is a lime wheel garnish, adding a pop of color and a hint of lime aroma.

Serving Suggestion for the Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet should be served in a chilled cocktail glass, which helps maintain its temperature and enhances the drinking experience. The classic garnish is a lime wheel, which complements the drink’s citrus notes and adds visual appeal.

When garnishing, make a small cut from the center to the edge of the lime wheel. This allows it to sit elegantly on the rim of the glass, inviting the drinker to enjoy the full Gimlet experience.

Elevating the Vodka Gimlet

  • Use Premium Vodka: Select a high-quality vodka for a smoother taste.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh lime juice for the brightest flavor.
  • Proper Chill: A well-chilled glass and shaker are key to a refreshing Gimlet.

For an extra touch of elegance, consider a fine strainer to remove any ice shards or pulp, ensuring a silky-smooth cocktail. A little extra effort in preparation can transform a good Gimlet into a great one.

Vodka Gimlet

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Vodka Gimlet

If vodka isn’t your spirit of choice, gin is a traditional alternative that offers a botanical twist. For a non-alcoholic version, try a seedlip spirit as a substitute.

Similar cocktails include the Daiquiri and the Margarita, which also feature a balance of citrus and sweetness. These drinks share the Gimlet’s refreshing qualities and are worth exploring.

Add a Twist to the Vodka Gimlet

Experiment with flavored syrups, such as elderflower or ginger, to introduce new dimensions to the cocktail. Infusing the simple syrup with herbs like basil or rosemary can add a unique twist.

Another variation is to muddle fresh fruits or cucumbers in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. This method infuses the drink with subtle, fresh flavors that complement the lime.

Preferred Liquors for the Vodka Gimlet

For the best Vodka Gimlet, choose a vodka that’s smooth and neutral, allowing the lime to shine. Brands like Grey Goose or Ketel One are excellent choices for their clean profiles.

However, don’t be afraid to experiment with local or artisanal vodkas. Small-batch distilleries often produce vodkas with unique character that can add an interesting twist to your Gimlet.

Similar Cocktails to the Vodka Gimlet

If you enjoy the Vodka Gimlet, you might also like:

  • The Moscow Mule – A gingery, effervescent alternative.
  • The French 75 – Combines citrus with the sparkle of champagne.
  • The Tom Collins – A refreshing gin-based cousin with soda water.

These cocktails share the Gimlet’s refreshing qualities and are perfect for those looking to explore similar flavor profiles.

Food Pairings to go with the Vodka Gimlet

The Vodka Gimlet’s crispness makes it an excellent companion to seafood, such as oysters or shrimp cocktail. Its acidity cuts through richer foods, making it a great match for creamy cheeses or charcuterie.

For a more adventurous pairing, try it with spicy Asian dishes. The cocktail’s coolness provides a pleasant contrast to the heat.

Vodka Gimlet FAQs

Can I make a Vodka Gimlet without simple syrup? Yes, you can use a sugar cube or granulated sugar, but simple syrup dissolves better.

Is it necessary to use fresh lime juice? Absolutely, fresh lime juice is key to the Gimlet’s bright flavor.

Can I store a pre-made Gimlet in the fridge? It’s best enjoyed fresh, but you can store it for a short time if covered tightly.

What’s the best way to garnish a Vodka Gimlet? A lime wheel or twist adds both visual appeal and a hint of lime aroma.

Can I make a large batch of Vodka Gimlets for a party? Yes, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings and mix in a pitcher.

Vodka Gimlet_001

Vodka Gimlet

A Vodka Gimlet is a classic cocktail that offers a perfect balance between the sharpness of lime juice and the smoothness of vodka. It's a refreshing drink, ideal for sipping on a warm evening or as a palate cleanser before dinner.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 150 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger or measuring tool
  • Hawthorne strainer or fine mesh sieve
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Lime wheel for garnish


  • In a shaker, combine the vodka, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim of the glass.


If you prefer a less sweet Gimlet, you can reduce the simple syrup to 1/4 oz (7 ml). For a more citrus-forward cocktail, increase the lime juice slightly. Always use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Easy, Lime Juice, Refreshing, Simple Syrup, vodka, Vodka Gimlet

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