Say hello to a classic Gimlet, a cocktail that’s been around since the 1920s. Traditionally made with gin, (but you can switch it out for vodka if you like) every sip is tart, crisp, and irresistibly juicy.

Gimlets in clear stemmed glasses.

Made famous by Raymond Chandler in his novel “The Long Goodbye,” a gin Gimlet was a favorite cocktail in prohibition era speakeasies and jazz clubs all over America. A popular version of the drink relied on Roses lime juice, something any bartender always had on hand.

Today, almost one hundred years later, no one is making gin in their bathtubs anymore, and fresh limes are easy to find. Therefore, it’s time to introduce a modern version of the Gimlet: One that uses real lime juice, a good gin, and only a little sugar to bring the whole thing together.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled ingredients for a gimlet cocktail.

Ingredient notes:

  • Gin: Or vodka, if you want to make a vodka gimlet.
  • Simple syrup: Use store-bought or combine equal parts granulated sugar and water (i.e., 1 cup sugar plus 1 cup water) in a small saucepan. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool completely.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Add the gin (or vodka), lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
    A side shot of clear liquid being poured into a silver shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, then strain into a frosted or chilled glass.
    A side shot of a gimlet being poured from a silver shaker into a clear stemmed glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.
    An angled shot of gimlets in clear stemmed glasses.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Traditional Gimlet: To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 2 ½ ounces gin and 1 ounce Rose’s lime juice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
  • Glass: A small martini glass or vintage champagne coupe might be just the thing for this cocktail.
  • On the rocks: Some people prefer lots of ice in their drink, and that’s okay. For a gimlet on the rocks, use a short lo-ball glass or a stemless wine tumbler.
  • Make ahead: Make the simple syrup and squeeze the limes in advance, then shake up the cocktails as you need them, one by one.
  • Shaken or stirred: For this cocktail recipe, the gin is shaken in a cocktail shaker. Don’t worry about “bruising” the gin. The lime juice will blend better when shaken.

More delicious cocktails:

Gimlets in stemmed glasses with lime slices.

Gimlet Recipe

Say hello to a classic Gimlet, a cocktail that’s been around since the 1920s. Traditionally made with gin, (but you can switch it out for vodka if you like) every sip is tart, crisp, and irresistibly juicy.
5 from 4 votes
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Servings 1 cocktail
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 205

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin (3 tablespoons, see note 1)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (1 tablespoon, see note 2)
  • Ice as needed
  • 1 lime wheel for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • Chill glassware if desired: Coat the outside of a glass with water and freeze until serving time. Or, freeze dry glassware for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
  • Combine gin, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.
  • Strain cocktail into glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Notes

  1. Gin: Or vodka, if you want to make a vodka gimlet.
  2. Simple syrup: Use store-bought or combine equal parts granulated sugar and water (i.e., 1 cup sugar plus 1 cup water) in a small saucepan. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool completely.
  3. Traditional Gimlet: To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 2 ½ ounces gin and 1 ounce Rose's lime juice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, then strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
  4. Glass: A small martini glass or vintage champagne coupe might be just the thing for this cocktail.
  5. On the rocks: Some people prefer lots of ice in their drink, and that’s okay. For a gimlet on the rocks, use a short lo-ball glass or a stemless wine tumbler.
  6. Make ahead: Make the simple syrup and squeeze the limes in advance, then shake up the cocktails as you need them, one by one.
  7. Shaken or stirred: For this cocktail recipe, the gin is shaken in a cocktail shaker. Don't worry about "bruising" the gin. The lime juice will blend better when shaken.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 9mgSugar: 11gVitamin C: 4mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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