how to make a gimlet

How to Make a Gimlet: A Refreshing Classic Cocktail to Impress Your Guests

Gimlet: A Refreshing Classic Cocktail to Impress Your Guests

how to make a gimlet

Everything You Need to Know About How to Make a Gimlet

Imagine this: a warm summer evening, laughter fills the air as you entertain friends and family on your patio. You reach into your home bar, expertly mix a round of refreshing cocktails, and receive compliments on your impressive bartending skills. The Gimlet, a timeless drink with a surprisingly simple recipe, can be your secret weapon to becoming the star of your next gathering.

The Gimlet's history stretches back to the 19th century, serving a vital purpose on long sea voyages. Sailors, plagued by scurvy, were encouraged to consume lime juice, a natural source of Vitamin C. According to a 2018 study published in the National Institutes of Health, limes were instrumental in reducing scurvy-related deaths during the Age of Exploration. To make the medicine go down a bit easier, sailors often mixed their lime rations with gin, creating a precursor to the modern Gimlet. The drink's precise origins remain unclear, with some attributing its name to a Royal Navy surgeon, Sir Thomas Gimlette, while others believe it derives from a carpentry tool used to create holes in barrels for the lime juice.

So, what makes the Gimlet such an enduring classic? The answer lies in its elegant simplicity. Made with just three core ingredients – gin, lime juice, and sugar – the Gimlet offers a perfectly balanced blend of sweet, tart, and juniper flavors. This balance appeals to a wide range of palates, making it a crowd-pleaser perfect for any occasion.


Here's what you'll need to craft the perfect Gimlet:

  • 2 ounces Gin (see next section for Gin selection tips)
  • 1 ounce Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (or Rose's Lime Cordial, see next section)
  • ¾ ounce Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • Lime Wheel (for garnish)
  • Ice

Simple Syrup Recipe: Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.

how to make a gimlet


  1. Chill Your Glass: For the best presentation, pre-chill your coupe or martini glass for at least 15 minutes in the freezer.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake it Up!: Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. The shaking process chills the drink and creates a delightful froth on top.
  4. Strain and Serve: Strain the Gimlet into your chilled glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

What's the Best Gin for a Gimlet?

The beauty of the Gimlet lies in its adaptability. While traditionalists favor a London Dry Gin for its classic juniper notes, you can experiment with various gins to discover your personal preference. For a citrus-forward twist, consider a Mediterranean Gin. Those seeking a more floral experience might enjoy a Gin infused with botanicals like lavender or rose. Ultimately, the best gin for your Gimlet is the one you enjoy most!

Rose's Lime Cordial or Fresh Lime in a Gimlet?

The debate between fresh lime juice and Rose's Lime Cordial is a long-standing one in the world of Gimlets. Rose's Lime Cordial, a sweetened lime juice concentrate, offers convenience and consistency. However, purists advocate for the superior flavor and aroma of freshly squeezed lime juice. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons:

  • Fresh Lime Juice: Provides a brighter, more nuanced lime flavor. However, it requires limes to be on hand and the amount of juice can vary depending on the lime's size.
  • Rose's Lime Cordial: Offers consistent flavor and eliminates the need for fresh limes. The downside is that some Rose's varieties contain artificial ingredients, potentially affecting the taste.

Whichever method you choose, freshness is key. If using Rose's, opt for a refrigerated bottle and avoid using anything past its expiration date.

Gimlet Variations

The Gimlet serves as a fantastic base for exploration. Here are a few variations to tantalize your taste buds:

  • Vodka Gimlet: Substitute vodka for gin for a slightly smoother and less juniper-forward drink.
  • Herbal Gimlet: Muddle a few fresh basil leaves or a sprig of rosemary in your shaker before adding the other ingredients for a delightful herbal twist.
  • Spicy Gimlet: Add a few slices of fresh jalapeño to your shaker for a touch of heat.
  • French Gimlet: Top your Gimlet with a splash of champagne for a bubbly and celebratory touch.

Nutritional Info

While the Gimlet offers a light and refreshing drink experience, it's important to be mindful of its sugar content. Here's a breakdown of the approximate nutritional information for a single Gimlet made with the ingredients listed above:

    • Calories: 160
    • Carbohydrates: 14 grams (of which 14 grams are sugar)
    • Fat: 0 grams
    • Protein: 0 grams

Beyond the Gimlet: Mastering Mixology at Home

Creating impressive cocktails for your guests doesn't require a stocked bar or years of experience. Consider enrolling in Barprints' Mixology Mastery: Online Bartending Course. This comprehensive program, designed for home enthusiasts, equips you with the knowledge and techniques to craft a vast repertoire of classic and contemporary cocktails. Learn proper bartending etiquette, explore essential spirits and liqueurs, and discover how to create your own signature drinks to truly wow your guests.

how to make a gimlet

Imagine confidently navigating your home bar, effortlessly mixing a Gimlet alongside other crowd-pleasers like the Mojito, Old Fashioned, or Daiquiri. The satisfaction of creating delicious and visually appealing drinks, along with the compliments from your impressed guests, is a truly rewarding experience.


The Gimlet, with its refreshing taste and simple recipe, is a perfect gateway cocktail for aspiring home bartenders. By experimenting with different gins, fresh herbs, and flavor variations, you can personalize this classic drink to suit your palate and preferences. Remember, creating impressive cocktails at home is not about fancy equipment or expensive ingredients; it's about understanding the fundamentals, embracing creativity, and most importantly, having fun with the process. So, the next time you gather with friends and family, impress them with your newfound bartending skills and whip up a round of perfectly balanced Gimlets. Who knows, maybe your signature variation will become the next cocktail craze?

how to make a gimlet