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Gimlet: The Ultimate Cocktail You Should Know About

Gimlet

Gimlet is a time-honored cocktail that is appreciated for its light, crisp flavour. It typically consists of two primary ingredients: gin and lime juice, with a touch of simple syrup for sweetness. The mixture is shaken or stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. This cocktail is beloved for its balanced blend of gin's botanical notes and the zesty, citrusy punch of fresh lime juice. The Gimlet's origins date back to the early 20th century, and it remains a timeless choice, appreciated for its clean, crisp, and tangy character, making it a favourite among cocktail enthusiasts.

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History 

The gimlet has a fascinating history that's evolved over time. It was first mentioned as a mix of gin, lime, and soda, then as equal parts gin and Rose's lime juice. Today, the most famous gimlet recipe is two parts gin to one part lime, often with soda water. This version was popularized in Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel, "The Long Goodbye," where the protagonist insists that a true gimlet is made this way, surpassing even martinis. The cocktail's name origin is debated, possibly from a drilling tool's "piercing effect" or linked to Sir Thomas Gimlette, a navy surgeon who added lime cordial to the Royal Navy's gin ration.

Rose's Lime Juice, a sweetened lime juice, is closely associated with traditional gimlets. It originated from the importance of citrus juice on British naval ships, where sailors received daily citrus rations to prevent scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency disease. In 1867, Lachlan Rose patented a preservation method that didn't involve alcohol, realizing it would have a broader market. The product reached the United States in 1901. Gimlets are versatile; they can be shaken or stirred, served in various glassware, and don't necessarily require gin to be classified as a gimlet, offering room for interpretation in their preparation.

Recipe

Ingredients

60 ml gin

21 ml lime juice

21 ml simple syrup

Lime wedge, for garnish

Method

In a cocktail shaker, mix together the lime juice, syrup, and gin. Chill the ingredients by shaking them with ice. Prepare a cocktail glass and strain the drink into it. Add a lime slice as a garnish to the gimlet.

 

For homemade lime syrup

Take the zest from two limes and put it in a saucepan. Squeeze the juice from both limes into a measuring jug; when you reach about 60ml, add water to make it 100ml in total. Pour this into the pan with 200g caster sugar. Heat it gently, stir now and then until the sugar dissolves, but don't let it boil. Strain the mixture into a heatproof jug and let it cool. This makes 280-300ml and can be used for up to two weeks.

Garnishes 

In simple terms, a classic gimlet is made with ice, gin, lime juice, and sugar. When you want to make it look nice, just use some fresh herbs to show off how delightful it is. Even if you're not a pro bartender, you can do this at home too. To make it look great, add a sprig of rosemary or basil, or a slice of citrus. If you want it super fresh, add mint leaves. You can also get creative with things like lavender or pansies to make it colourful. Try some unique garnishes, and your guests will love them.

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Variations

Vodka Gimlet 

A Vodka Gimlet is a refreshing cocktail known for its simplicity and bold lime flavor. It's made by combining vodka, lime juice, and a touch of sweetness, typically from simple syrup. Unlike the gin-based Gimlet, which incorporates various botanicals, the Vodka Gimlet focuses on pure, clean flavors. The result is a zesty and slightly sweet drink with a citrusy kick, perfect for those who prefer a straightforward, tangy cocktail without the complexity of gin's botanicals. It's a classic choice for those who appreciate the refreshing taste of lime and the smoothness of vodka.

Cucumber Gimlet 

Adding muddled cucumbers to the classic mix of gin, lime juice, and simple syrup can make the Gimlet even more refreshing. This gives the drink a sweet, organic flavour. For the cucumber's flavour, it's best to use a light, floral gin. Do not forget the finishing touch of adding a cucumber wheel as a garnish. It gives the drink more leafy and aromatic qualities.

South Side

The South Side Gimlet is a delightful variation of the classic Gimlet. It infuses the traditional blend of gin, lime juice, and simple syrup with fresh mint leaves and a touch of soda water. This gives the cocktail a crisp, herbaceous character with a hint of effervescence. It's a zesty and refreshing twist on the original, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of minty flair in their cocktails.