Vodka Gimlet Cocktail Drink

Vodka Gimlet

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

Our Vodka Gimlet recipe provides all the ingredients for an impeccable cocktail. It’s easy to make and ensures a clean and refreshing taste.

Vodka Gimlet Recipe Card

Dive into our Vodka Gimlet recipe! Crafted with vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup, this zesty cocktail is an instant hit any time of the year.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

182 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • ½ oz lime Cordial
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Martini or Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill, place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or ice it up just before starting.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the mixing glass.
  • Add Lime cordial: Pour ½ oz lime Cordial into the mixing glass
  • Stir Gently: Add ice cubes and use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently for about 30 seconds.
  • Prepare Glass: Empty your martini glass.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lime twist or lime wheel to garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: In my experiments, I've found that gin works well as a substitute, transforming the drink into a classic gimlet. If you're seeking a sweeter profile, try using flavored vodkas, like citrus or vanilla.
  • Lime cordial: prepare your home-made lime cordial mixing fresh lime juice and sugar syrup, balancing it out to your taste

Making a Pitcher of Vodka Gimlet:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of vodka and 4 oz of lime cordial.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine your ingredients with ice cubes and stir thoroughly.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled martini or coupe glasses, garnish with a lime wheel or twist, and serve with flair.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vodka alternative. Several brands on the market mimic the neutral profile of vodka.
  • Proceed As Usual: With your non-alcoholic vodka, follow the original steps and indulge in a refreshing, alcohol-free version.

Making it Vegan:

Thankfully, the traditional Vodka Gimlet is already vegan. However, always check your vodka's brand; some may use animal-based filtering agents. Stick to known vegan-friendly brands or those that specify their filtering process. If using simple syrup, ensure they're vegan-friendly, as some sugars are processed with bone char.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
182
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
2
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Potassium
 
1
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.01
mg
0
%

 

Vodka Gimlet Cocktail Drink

Vodka Gimlet Recipe Card

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Dive into our Vodka Gimlet recipe! Crafted with vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup, this zesty cocktail is an instant hit any time of the year.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 182

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • ½ oz lime Cordial
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer
  • Martini or Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: To chill, place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or ice it up just before starting.
  • Add Vodka: Pour 2 oz Vodka into the mixing glass.
  • Add Lime cordial: Pour ½ oz lime Cordial into the mixing glass
  • Stir Gently: Add ice cubes and use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently for about 30 seconds.
  • Prepare Glass: Empty your martini glass.
  • Strain: Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lime twist or lime wheel to garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Vodka: In my experiments, I've found that gin works well as a substitute, transforming the drink into a classic gimlet. If you're seeking a sweeter profile, try using flavored vodkas, like citrus or vanilla.
  • Lime cordial: prepare your home-made lime cordial mixing fresh lime juice and sugar syrup, balancing it out to your taste

Making a Pitcher of Vodka Gimlet:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, you'll need 16 oz of vodka and 4 oz of lime cordial.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine your ingredients with ice cubes and stir thoroughly.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled martini or coupe glasses, garnish with a lime wheel or twist, and serve with flair.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Vodka Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic vodka alternative. Several brands on the market mimic the neutral profile of vodka.
  • Proceed As Usual: With your non-alcoholic vodka, follow the original steps and indulge in a refreshing, alcohol-free version.

Making it Vegan:

Thankfully, the traditional Vodka Gimlet is already vegan. However, always check your vodka's brand; some may use animal-based filtering agents. Stick to known vegan-friendly brands or those that specify their filtering process. If using simple syrup, ensure they're vegan-friendly, as some sugars are processed with bone char.

What is a Vodka Gimlet?

Vodka Gimlet is a vodka-based cocktail that combines fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Historians trace its roots back to the gimlet, traditionally made with gin. The shift to vodka offers a smoother, more neutral profile, allowing the lime’s zestiness to shine. While its origins are debated, there’s no arguing its place in the pantheon of classic cocktails. You might expect a drink of such renown to be complex, but the beauty of the Vodka Gimlet lies in its simplicity.

A side shot of a Vodka Gimlet in a coupe glass on a white marmol table with two lime wedges in front

What is a Vodka Gimlet made of – The ingredients

Making a Vodka Gimlet requires the following ingredients:

  • Vodka: The primary spirit that provides the alcoholic base. It offers a neutral, clean taste.
  • Lime cordial: offers the perfect balance of citrusy and sweetness.

Vodka, lime juice and simple syrup laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Vodka Gimlet?

Try our easy steps in making a Vodka Gimlet:

1
<p>First, chill your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or add some ice cubes before starting.</p>

First, chill your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours or add some ice cubes before starting.

2
<p>Pour 2 oz of Vodka into the mixing glass to establish the cocktail’s base.</p>

Pour 2 oz of Vodka into the mixing glass to establish the cocktail’s base.

3
<p>Add ½ oz of lime cordial to give the drink a tangy taste.</p>

Add ½ oz of lime cordial to give the drink a tangy taste.

4
<p>Fill the mixing glass three quarters full with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the mixing glass three quarters full with ice cubes.

5
<p>Stir the ingredients gently with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds to mix them well and chill them.</p>

Stir the ingredients gently with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds to mix them well and chill them.

6
<p>Remove ice cubes from your chilled Martini glass.</p>

Remove ice cubes from your chilled Martini glass.

7
<p>Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass.</p>

Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass.

8
<p>Squeeze a lime peel over the glass.</p>

Squeeze a lime peel over the glass.

9
<p>Place the lime twist into the glass as garnish.</p>

Place the lime twist into the glass as garnish.

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

Enjoy your Vodka Gimlet!

Vodka Gimlet served on the Rocks

The Vodka Gimlet on the Rocks offers a refreshing twist to the classic presentation. Serving it over ice mellows the drink, allowing the flavors to evolve and linger as the ice slowly melts. When you opt for this style, each sip brings a slightly different taste experience, starting robust and gradually becoming more delicate. It’s ideal for those leisurely evenings when you want your drink to keep pace with your conversations. Remember to use good quality vodka; the simplicity of the Gimlet means every ingredient shines through. A Gimlet on the Rocks showcases the perfect balance of crisp vodka, tangy lime, and subtle sweetness, making each sip a testament to its timeless appeal.

Can I make a Vodka Gimlet with Lemon?

Swapping lemon for lime in the Vodka Gimlet introduces a fresh take on this classic drink. While lime offers a distinct tartness, lemon brings a slightly sweeter, zesty profile. Using lemon transforms the cocktail, providing a brighter, more rounded citrus note. Adjusting the simple syrup slightly when making this switch is essential, as lemons inherently have a bit more sweetness. This lemon-infused Vodka Gimlet remains balanced, ensuring that neither the citrus nor the vodka overshadows the other. It’s a straightforward change that delivers a delightful and different Gimlet experience.

A Vodka Gimlet cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a white marmol table with a two lime wedge in front and a bronw wooden tray behind

What is a Dirty Vodka Gimlet (with Olive Juice)?

A Dirty Vodka Gimlet is a variation of the classic Vodka Gimlet, distinguished by adding olive juice. The juice imparts a salty and slightly briny flavor, balancing the simple syrup’s sweetness and the lime juice’s tartness. The result is a more savory take on the traditional Gimlet, appealing to those who prefer their cocktails with an umami touch.

Vodka Gimlet vs. Martini

A Vodka Gimlet and a Martini stand as iconic drinks in the cocktail world, but they have distinct differences that set them apart. The primary ingredient for a Vodka Gimlet is vodka, which harmoniously blends with lime juice and simple syrup to strike a balance between sweet and tart. In contrast, a classic Martini also takes vodka or gin as its base but is mixed with dry vermouth, resulting in a dry and aromatic drink. While the Vodka Gimlet often features a lime wheel or zest as its garnish, the Martini usually shines with an olive or a lemon twist. Moreover, the choice of glassware can differ; the renowned Martini glass is synonymous with its namesake drink, but a Gimlet might sometimes be presented in an old-fashioned glass. While sharing vodka as a potential base, each cocktail carves out its own space on the drink menu, boasting unique ingredients, flavors, and presentations.

A side shot of a Vodka Gimlet cocktail in a coupe glass with lime wedges, a strainer and a shaker on a wooden tray placed on a white marmol table

Variations

Keen to explore new options? Try our favorite variations:

  • Cucumber Gimlet: This one stands out with its refreshing cucumber juice, offering a cool and revitalizing experience. It’s perfect for hot summer days. I find the freshness of cucumber particularly invigorating, making it a top choice for a sunny afternoon.
  • Basil Gimlet: Here, fresh basil leaves muddled with lime juice bring an aromatic and herbaceous touch. This choice feels like a stroll through a garden, with its vibrant green notes. The basil’s aroma captivates me, adding a unique twist that I always enjoy.
  • Rosemary Gimlet: This incorporates rosemary, adding a woody and fragrant aroma. It’s well-suited for cooler evenings, providing a comforting and aromatic experience. The rosemary’s distinct scent makes each sip a memorable journey.
  • Elderflower Gimlet: Using elderflower liqueur or syrup, this creates a sweet, fragrant bouquet. It’s reminiscent of European summers, providing an elegant and floral taste. I’m drawn to the delicate sweetness of elderflower; it’s like sipping on a summer’s day.
  • Lavender Gimlet: Lavender syrup replaces the traditional sweetener, offering a floral and delicate flavor. It’s like drinking in a blooming field, soothing and gentle. The lavender’s floral notes are what I find most enchanting, lending a peaceful quality to the experience.
  • Pomegranate Gimlet: This includes pomegranate juice or syrup, adding a vibrant color and a unique tart-sweet balance. It brings to mind Mediterranean flavors, striking a delightful contrast between tart and sweet. The pomegranate’s vivid flavor and color make this a favorite of mine, perfect for when I want something both visually and tastefully striking.
  • Grapefruit Gimlet: By substituting lime juice with grapefruit juice, it gains a more bitter yet invigorating citrus twist. This balance of sweet and tangy is refreshing and bold. I appreciate the grapefruit’s zesty edge, as it adds a lively punch to each sip.
  • Blackberry Gimlet: Muddled blackberries introduce a berry goodness, blending tartness with natural sugars. It’s a fruity and vibrant choice, offering a burst of berry flavors. The blackberries’ tartness mixed with their natural sweetness is something I always find irresistible.
  • Ginger Gimlet: Adding a splash of ginger syrup or fresh ginger juice, it brings a warm, spicy kick. This elevates the complexity and adds a zesty flair. I’m particularly fond of the ginger’s spicy warmth; it adds an exhilarating twist
  • Spicy Gimlet: Infused with jalapeño slices, this offers a hint of heat. The jalapeño tantalizes the palate with each sip, making for a bold and adventurous option. I adore the spicy kick from the jalapeño; it’s daring and adds an unexpected twist that I find absolutely thrilling.

A Vodka Gimlet cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass with lime wedges, a strainer and a shaker on a wooden tray placed on a white marmol table

History and Origin

The history of the Vodka Gimlet finds its roots in the original Gimlet, which traditionally featured gin as its primary spirit. The Gimlet, as a concept, dates back to the 19th century. British sailors consumed gin mixed with lime juice for its refreshing taste and preventing scurvy. Lime juice, rich in vitamin C, was an antidote to the disease prevalent among sailors due to vitamin deficiencies.

The name “Gimlet” likely stems from Sir Thomas Gimlette, a British naval surgeon who allegedly introduced this drink to his shipmates to encourage them to consume lime juice for its health benefits. Another theory suggests the name derived from the tool “gimlet,” which sailors used for boring into barrels, possibly indicating how the drink made its piercing effect on those who consumed it.

As vodka grew in popularity, especially in the U.S. during the mid-20th century, bartenders and drinkers began experimenting with substituting vodka for gin in various cocktails. The Vodka Gimlet emerged as one such experiment. The neutrality of vodka allowed the lime’s zestiness to become the focal point, offering a smoother and simpler taste profile compared to its gin-based predecessor. Over time, the Vodka Gimlet cemented in the pantheon of classic cocktails and remains a favorite for many seeking a crisp, refreshing drink.

 

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FAQ

How many calories are typically in a Vodka Gimlet?
It typically contains approximately 150 to 200 calories, depending on the specific ingredients and portions used.
What is the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of a Vodka Gimlet?
The ABV usually ranges from 20% to 25%, depending on the vodka's strength and the ratios used.
What proof is a typical Vodka Gimlet?
Considering the ABV, a Vodka Gimlet will be around 40 to 50 proof, but this can vary based on the vodka brand and the mix.
What type of alcohol is primarily used in a Vodka Gimlet?
As the name suggests, vodka is the primary spirit.
In which glass is a Vodka Gimlet typically served?
It's traditionally served in a martini or coupe glass.
What does a Vodka Gimlet taste like?
A Vodka Gimlet offers a crisp, slightly sweet, and tangy flavor profile, primarily from the blend of vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup.
What is the standard ratio of ingredients in a Vodka Gimlet?
Typically it follows a 4:1 ratio, 4 parts vodka to one part of lime cordial.
Can I use Rose's Lime Juice for a Vodka Gimlet?
Rose's Lime Juice is a popular choice for making a Vodka Gimlet.

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