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Gimlet Recipe, A Classic Gin Cocktail

by | Dec 12, 2020

We almost always have lime, gin, and simple syrup in our home bar. With these 3 ingredients I can enjoy one of my new favorites, a Gimlet, pretty much anytime.

When Carl and I go out for drinks, we gravitate toward house specialties a lot of the time. Recently, though, I’ve been getting into classic cocktails.

A while ago, we met a friend for drinks, and I decided to sample a gin gimlet cocktail. Now, it’s my go-to cocktail.

Gimlets are great! They’re one of the easiest drinks to make, which is excellent for me since I am a beginner at this mixology thing.


5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Riley Taylor Course: BeverageCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A Gimlet a classic three ingredient cocktail.



  • 2 ounces 2 Gin

  • .75 ounce .75 Fresh Lime Juice

  • .75 ounce .75 Simple Syrup


  • Combine all ingredients into tin
  • Add ice
  • Shake for 15 seconds
  • Double strain into glass
  • Garnish with lime wheel

I decided to make myself a Gimlet at home. So, after rolling his eyes at my enthusiasm, Carl walked me through his standard recipe.

Some recipes call for two ingredients, Rose’s lime cordial and gin. Carl prefers to use fresh lime juice, and I agree with him. So, we replaced the Rose’s with fresh lime juice and simple syrup.

Then, I played mad scientist and made not one but four versions of the Gimlet, using the same ratios but different gins. I ended up with three pretty good gimlets and one I wouldn’t make again.

The takeaway from my experiment is this: If you like the gin you put in, you’re going to like the Gimlet it creates.

For this video, I used my favorite version from that day. Blaum Brothers Gin is floral and more coriander forward than many other gins, whose flavor profiles are juniper heavy.

Coriander, also known as cilantro to Americans, compliments lime as much as peanut butter does jelly.

The traditional garnish of a lime wheel creates a simple yet elegant presentation for this classic cocktail.

What is the History of the Gimlet?

The history of the Gimlet dates back to the 19th century and has some interesting origins.

The exact origin of the Gimlet is somewhat debated, but it is generally agreed that it was created as a way to combat scurvy among sailors in the British Navy.

Scurvy is a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, and lime juice was used as a remedy due to its high vitamin C content.

However, drinking straight lime juice was unpalatable for many sailors, so they began mixing it with their daily ration of gin or other spirits to make it more enjoyable.

How Did the Gimlet Get its Name?

The name “Gimlet” is said to have come from the tool called a “gimlet,” which is a small hand drill used to bore small holes.

This association is often attributed to the idea that the cocktail pierced through the sailors’ ailments, much like a gimlet piercing through wood.

Another theory suggests that the name might have originated from a naval surgeon, Sir Thomas Gimlette, who introduced the lime juice and gin mixture as a health tonic for sailors.

When Did the Gimlet Become Popular?

Over time, the Gimlet made its way from the naval world to the shores and became a popular cocktail in bars and households. In the 20th century, it gained further popularity with the rise of cocktail culture.

The original recipe called for equal parts gin and lime juice, but modern variations often use a higher ratio of gin to lime juice or include a sweetener like simple syrup.

Some Gimlet Variations

Today, the Gimlet remains a classic cocktail and is enjoyed by many for its simplicity and refreshing taste. While gin is the traditional base spirit, vodka can also be used as a substitute. Additionally, variations incorporating different flavors or garnishes have emerged, offering a range of options for cocktail enthusiasts.

There are several variations of the Gimlet cocktail that incorporate different ingredients or flavors. Here are a few popular variations:

  1. South Side

    It’s a refreshing and herbaceous drink that combines gin, lime juice, mint, and simple syrup for a balanced and delightful flavor.

  2. East Side

    It’s is a vibrant and cooling libation that harmonizes gin, lime juice, mint, and cucumber to create a refreshing and botanical experience for the palate.

  3. Northwest Side

    Our own creation combining gin, lime juice, St. Germain, cucumber, and prosecco. It’s a fantastic cocktail for summer.

  4. Vodka Gimlet

    This variation replaces gin with vodka, creating a Vodka Gimlet. It offers a slightly different flavor profile but maintains the refreshing and citrusy characteristics of the original.

  5. Rosemary Gimle

    This variation adds a twist of herbal flavor by muddling fresh rosemary in the cocktail or using rosemary-infused simple syrup. It adds an aromatic and earthy note to the drink.

  6. Basil Gimlet

    Similar to the Rosemary Gimlet, this variation incorporates fresh basil leaves into the cocktail. Muddling the basil or using basil-infused simple syrup gives the drink a delightful herbal essence.

  7. French Gimlet

    This version combines the classic Gimlet with the floral and sweet notes of elderflower liqueur, such as St-Germain. It adds a touch of elegance and complexity to the cocktail.

  8. Cucumber Gimlet

    This refreshing variation involves muddling fresh cucumber slices or using cucumber-infused gin or vodka. It adds a crisp and cooling element to the cocktail, perfect for hot summer days.

  9. Spiced Gimlet

    This variation infuses the cocktail with warm spices such as ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom. The spices can be muddled or incorporated through syrups or liqueurs, adding a cozy and aromatic twist.

We hope you are inspired to make your own Gimlet and that you enjoy it as much as I do.

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