Gimlets have earned a reputation as one of the best gin sours, featuring four simple ingredients: gin and lime cordial. Together, they create a delicious balance of sweet and tart while also complementing the taste of gin with its botanicals. The flavor of this sparkling water is sure to awaken your taste buds and is a delight to sip. It is estimated that the gimlet dates back to the late 1800s. Rose’s Lime Cordial was the original sweetened lime juice used for the drink, and it has remained its go-to sweetened lime juice ever since. This cocktail has been remade numerous times but can still be tailored to your taste. You can adjust the ratio of gin to lime cordial, blend in vodka, make your own lime cordial, or substitute lime and simple syrup. You can shake it or serve it on the rocks. Despite the lack of official rules, there are hundreds of ways you can make a gimlet. You should have lots of fun exploring all the options.
While the classic technique of mixing the gimlet is stirring, many people prefer it shaken. By doing so, you aerate the drink and soften its taste. The drink should be served on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass. A vodka gimlet can be made by substituting gin for vodka. If you want to use lime cordial, replace it with equal parts fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Start with half an ounce of Rose’s and 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice, then adjust to your taste. Ted Haigh, in his book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, suggests adding 1/2 ounces of both to lessen the sweetness of the gimlet.
You should test the cordial’s sweetness and tartness before sipping it. Although some lime cordials are sweet, others are tart. It is best to make a drink that suits your personal taste and the cordial you are pouring. It is possible to create a gimlet with a ratio of 3 parts gin to 1 part lime cordial (similar to this recipe) to 5 parts gin to 1 part lime cordial. Those who want to stick with tradition should opt for Plymouth Gin (as recommended in the 1930 “The Savoy Cocktail Book”) or a premium London dry gin. If you prefer, you can get creative with this old favorite by exploring the vast variety of gins available. Quite often, great booze can be found in the least expected places. For example, cucumber-forward Hendrick’s or the mint, citrus, and spice profile of The Botanist are fantastic. For a tart kick, rub the lime wedge over the rim of the drink, squeeze it over it then squeeze it into the drink.