Gimlet Cocktail Drink

Gimlet

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Want a straightforward drink that hits the spot? This Gimlet recipe is your answer, combining basic ingredients to make a cocktail that’s both easy and satisfying.

Gimlet Recipe

Refresh your senses with this straightforward Gimlet recipe! A blend of Gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, this zesty cocktail is a summer delight.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

173 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Lime wheel or zest

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe or Martini Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Chill the glass: Place your coupe or martini glass in the freezer or stir some ice cubes in it to chill.
  • Add Lime Juice: Measure and add ½ oz lime juice into the shaker.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Pour ½ oz simple syrup into the shaker.
  • Add Gin: Pour 2 oz Gin into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake: Cap your shaker and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Strain: Fine strain the mixture into the chilled coupe or martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lime wheel or zest for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: Sometimes, I swap Gin with vodka if I'm in the mood for a Vodka Gimlet. It's cleaner in taste, letting the lime shine more.
  • Simple Syrup: In a pinch, I've replaced simple syrup with agave nectar or a sugar cube dissolved directly in the lime juice. It alters the taste slightly, but it's all about your sweet preference.

Making a Pitcher of Gimlet:

  • Scale: To serve 8 people, you'll need 16 oz of Gin, 4 oz of lime juice, and 4 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: Combine all these in a large pitcher with ice and stir thoroughly.
  • Serve: Serve it in individual chilled glasses, garnish each with lime, and get ready for compliments!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Non-alcoholic Gin is available, mimicking the botanicals beautifully.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic Gin instead of the regular Gin, and follow the other steps as written. You've got yourself a mocktail version of the Gimlet!

Making it Vegan:

  • Simple Syrup: Ensure your syrup doesn't contain honey or non-vegan sugar (some sugars are processed using bone char). Opt for a certified vegan sugar or try a different sweetener like agave nectar, which works just as well.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
173
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
9
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Potassium
 
27
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
7
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
4
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Gimlet Cocktail Drink

Gimlet Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Refresh your senses with this straightforward Gimlet recipe! A blend of Gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, this zesty cocktail is a summer delight.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 173

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz lime juice - freshly squeezed
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Lime wheel or zest

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe or Martini Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Chill the glass: Place your coupe or martini glass in the freezer or stir some ice cubes in it to chill.
  • Add Lime Juice: Measure and add ½ oz lime juice into the shaker.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Pour ½ oz simple syrup into the shaker.
  • Add Gin: Pour 2 oz Gin into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake: Cap your shaker and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Strain: Fine strain the mixture into the chilled coupe or martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lime wheel or zest for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: Sometimes, I swap Gin with vodka if I'm in the mood for a Vodka Gimlet. It's cleaner in taste, letting the lime shine more.
  • Simple Syrup: In a pinch, I've replaced simple syrup with agave nectar or a sugar cube dissolved directly in the lime juice. It alters the taste slightly, but it's all about your sweet preference.

Making a Pitcher of Gimlet:

  • Scale: To serve 8 people, you'll need 16 oz of Gin, 4 oz of lime juice, and 4 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: Combine all these in a large pitcher with ice and stir thoroughly.
  • Serve: Serve it in individual chilled glasses, garnish each with lime, and get ready for compliments!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Non-alcoholic Gin is available, mimicking the botanicals beautifully.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use the non-alcoholic Gin instead of the regular Gin, and follow the other steps as written. You've got yourself a mocktail version of the Gimlet!

Making it Vegan:

  • Simple Syrup: Ensure your syrup doesn't contain honey or non-vegan sugar (some sugars are processed using bone char). Opt for a certified vegan sugar or try a different sweetener like agave nectar, which works just as well.

What is a Gimlet?

A Gimlet cocktail combines Gin with the tangy zest of fresh lime juice, sweetened slightly by simple syrup. This drink, celebrated for its simplicity and refreshing qualities, holds a firm place in the pantheon of classic cocktails. The Gimlet’s name might spark curiosity, but its origins are as straightforward as the drink itself, rooted in naval history and once valued for the lime’s scurvy-preventing properties.

A side shot of a Gimlet cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a black table with lime pieces, a bar spoon, three sugar cubes, and a white cloth around, in front of a red wall.

What is a Gimlet made of – The ingredients

Get set to make your Gimlet by collecting these essential ingredients:

  • Gin: Provides the foundational spirit of the cocktail, delivering herbal and juniper notes.
  • Lime Juice: Adds a citrusy zest, balancing the Gin with its fresh, tangy flavor.
  • Simple Syrup: Sweetens the mix, mellowing the acidity of the lime and enhancing the botanicals in the Gin.

Seven sugar cubes, two limes, and a Gin bottle on a white bar table.

How do you make a Gimlet?

To get started making your Gimlet, join our easy instructions:

1
<p>Stir some ice cubes in your coupe glass to chill it.</p>

Stir some ice cubes in your coupe glass to chill it.

2
<p>Add freshly squeezed lime juice to the shaker, introducing a citrus element crucial for the cocktail’s signature zest.</p>

Add freshly squeezed lime juice to the shaker, introducing a citrus element crucial for the cocktail’s signature zest.

3
<p>Pour simple syrup into the shaker to bring sweetness into the mix, creating a harmonious balance with the lime’s sharpness and the Gin’s complexity.</p>

Pour simple syrup into the shaker to bring sweetness into the mix, creating a harmonious balance with the lime’s sharpness and the Gin’s complexity.

4
<p>Measure and pour the required amount of Gin into the shaker, setting the stage with its herbal foundation.</p>

Measure and pour the required amount of Gin into the shaker, setting the stage with its herbal foundation.

5
<p>Fill your cocktail shaker three-quarters full of ice cubes.</p>

Fill your cocktail shaker three-quarters full of ice cubes.

6
<p>Seal your shaker and vigorously shake, blending the ingredients thoroughly and allowing the flavors to meld.</p>

Seal your shaker and vigorously shake, blending the ingredients thoroughly and allowing the flavors to meld.

7
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your chilled coupe glass.</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled coupe glass.

8
<p>Fine strain the mixture into your chilled coupe glass, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.</p>

Fine strain the mixture into your chilled coupe glass, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.

9
<p>Garnish with a lime wheel or zest to enhance the visual appeal and add an aromatic citrus note.</p>

Garnish with a lime wheel or zest to enhance the visual appeal and add an aromatic citrus note.

10
<p>Enjoy your Gimlet cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Gimlet cocktail!

What is the difference between a Gin Sour and a Gimlet Cocktail?

The Gin Sour and the Gimlet differ primarily in composition, citrus, history, presentation, and texture. The Gin Sour is a blend of Gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, often with egg white and bitters, while the Gimlet is simply Gin with lime juice or lime cordial. Lemon juice gives the Gin Sour a zesty tang, whereas lime juice provides the Gimlet’s tartness. In terms of serving, the frothy Gin Sour, due to its egg white, is typically in a rocks or sour glass with a lemon or cherry garnish, while the smoother Gimlet appears in a cocktail glass adorned with a lime. 

What is the best Gin for a Gin Gimlet?

For a classic, clean taste, you can’t go wrong with London Dry gins like Beefeater or Tanqueray, known for their straightforward juniper profile and a crisp finish that pairs beautifully with lime. If you prefer a more floral or herbal undertone, Bombay Sapphire introduces ten botanicals, adding complexity without overwhelming the drink’s simplicity. For a bolder option, consider a Navy Strength gin like Plymouth, which brings a higher alcohol content and a rich, full-bodied juniper essence that stands its ground amidst the tartness of lime. Hendrick’s Gin might be your go-to if you’re up for a splurge and prefer a softer cucumber and rose-infused profile. It provides a delightful contrast to the citrus without overpowering it. But for an all-around versatile choice that’s great in a Gimlet and adaptable to other cocktails, you might opt for the balanced and always reliable Tanqueray for its perfect harmony of botanicals and accessible price point.

A Gimlet cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a black table with lime pieces, five sugar cubes, and a white cloth around.

Rose Gimlet

A Rose Gimlet is a variation of the classic Gimlet cocktail that incorporates rose water or rose-infused syrup, blending the original drink’s traditional sharp, citrus taste with the subtle, fragrant notes of rose. This combination creates a unique flavor profile, offering a floral twist on the tartness of the lime. At the same time, the Gin’s botanicals often complement the rose’s soft aroma, making the Rose Gimlet a popular choice for those seeking a new take on the well-loved classic.

Gimlet Variations

Fancy trying out some new flavors? We’ve got a lineup of our favorites just for you:

  • Vodka Gimlet: Swapping gin for vodka, it offers a cleaner, more neutral spirit base, allowing the lime’s zest to stand out.
  • Basil Gimlet: Fresh basil leaves infuse the traditional lime and gin base, adding an aromatic, herbaceous twist for a refreshing taste.
  • Cucumber Gimlet: Muddled cucumber brings cool, vegetal crispness, making it a hydrating choice for hot days.
  • Raspberry Gimlet: Muddled raspberries add natural sweetness and vibrant color, balancing sweet and tart flavors. I particularly enjoy the natural sweetness and eye-catching color, making it both a visual and taste delight.
  • Elderflower Gimlet: Elderflower liqueur makes it floral and slightly sweeter, appealing to those who enjoy gentle, fragrant flavors.
  • Ginger Gimlet: Integrating ginger syrup or fresh ginger, it offers spicy warmth, contrasting nicely with the lime’s acidity.
  • Rosemary Gimlet: Infused with rosemary, it gains a pine-like depth, beautifully complementing the gin’s botanicals.
  • Strawberry Gimlet: Fresh strawberries make it sweeter and more fragrant, perfect for spring and summer with its juicy, refreshing quality.
  • Lavender Gimlet: Lavender syrup adds a floral, calming element, transforming it into a more elegant and soothing experience.
  • Pineapple Gimlet: Pineapple juice brings a tropical twist with its sweetness and island flair.
  • Espresso Gimlet: A shot of espresso creates an unexpected but harmonious blend, ideal for those who enjoy a caffeinated kick. I love how the robust flavor of espresso pairs with the crisp lime, offering a unique and energizing experience.
  • Grapefruit Gimlet: Grapefruit juice makes it tangier and slightly bitter, suited for those who prefer a sharper citrus profile.

A side shot of a Gimlet cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a black table with lime pieces and a white cloth around, in front of a black background.

Origins and History of the Gimlet

The Gimlet cocktail boasts a rich history, intertwining with naval adventures and the quest to combat scurvy. Sailors in the British Royal Navy in the 19th century received daily rations of Gin or rum, and officers started mixing their Gin with the lime juice ration not just for flavor but because they discovered it helped prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency common among sailors on long voyages.

The cocktail likely owes its name to Sir Thomas Gimlette, a British Royal Navy surgeon who served from 1879 to 1913. He reputedly introduced this Gin and lime mixture to the navy to induce sailors to take lime juice as an anti-scurvy medication. The acidity in the lime helped preserve the sailors’ health on extended sea journeys, and the Gin made the medicinal dose more palatable.

It cemented its place in cocktail culture through literature when mentioned in the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel “The Long Goodbye.” The character Terry Lennox requests a Gimlet, calling for “half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.” This reference indicates the use of Rose’s lime juice, a preserved, sweetened lime juice, which became a common Gimlet ingredient, although modern recipes often favor fresh lime juice.

A Gimlet cocktail, shot from above, on a white marmol table with eight sugar cubes, two limes, and a Gin bottle around.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Gimlet?
A standard Gimlet with 2 ounces of Gin, one ounce of lime juice, and a teaspoon of simple syrup contains approximately 150 calories.
How strong is a Gimlet cocktail?
The strength varies based on the Gin's proof, but a typical Gimlet has an ABV of about 29% and is 58 proof, considering it's mostly Gin with a small amount of non-alcoholic lime juice and simple syrup.
What type of alcohol is in a Gimlet?
Gin is the primary alcohol used in a traditional Gimlet.
What does a Gimlet taste like?
A Gimlet tastes bright and tangy due to the lime juice, slightly sweet from the simple syrup, with herbal notes coming through from the Gin.
What's the ratio in a Gimlet?
The classic Gimlet ratio is 2:1.5:1.5, meaning two parts gin, half part lime juice, and half part simple syrup.
How is a Gimlet served in terms of ice?
A Gimlet is typically shaken or stirred with ice and then strained into a chilled glass to serve "up" without ice.
In which glass is a Gimlet usually served?
Gimlets are traditionally served in a coupe glass or a martini glass.
What's the difference between a Gimlet and a Martini?
A Gimlet includes Gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, while a classic Martini uses Gin (or vodka) and dry vermouth, often garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.

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