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Classic Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

The gimlet cocktail is a classic drink that will never go out of style.

It’s a very alcohol-forward cocktail, so it’s best sipped slowly. Classic gimlets use easy-to-find ingredients like good-quality gin, simple syrup, and fresh limes. That’s it!

A refreshing glass of gimlet cocktail, filled to the brim with tangy citrus flavors and garnished with lemon wheel on the rim
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Like its cousin, the martini, botanical gin takes center stage in this cocktail. It’s light, refreshing, and perfect for any occasion.

So, bust out those cocktail shakers, and let’s look at this traditional gimlet recipe.

What Is a Gimlet?

The gimlet rose to popularity in the 1950s, but it also pops up in a cocktail book from the 1930s.

So, what about the gimlet cocktail makes it so timeless?

It’s an easy cocktail that allows gin to shine through, and it tastes amazing. The flavors are light, botanical, and delicately sweet.

Plus, the gimlet is the perfect blank slate for tasty variations and different flavors. But more on that a little later. 

If you have a good gin in your liquor cabinet, the gimlet is a must-try!

Two glasses of gimlet cocktail garnished with lime wheel placed neatly on a countertop with a jigger, shaker lime slices

Ingredients

If you have a good gin on hand, you’re halfway there to this tasty cocktail.

Here’s everything you need for the perfect gimlet:

  • Ice – Gimlets are best when they’re nice and chilled. Don’t worry, you don’t need to reach for fancy ice cubes in this recipe. The ice is strained out once it hits the cocktail glass.
  • Gin – The gimlet is an alcohol-forward drink, so reach for a good brand of gin. Rich botanical gins like London Dry, Plymouth, Hendrick’s, or Monkey 47 Gin are all excellent choices.
  • Lime juice – Always use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor. The stuff that comes in the green bottle has many preservatives that alter this cocktail’s fresh flavors.
  • Simple syrup – Adding a dash of simple syrup delivers the perfect kiss of sweetness. It helps draw out those botanical notes in the gin. Always use simple syrup over sugar to keep this cocktail smooth.
  • Lime wheel (optional) – Adding a lime wheel brings a lot of flavor and character to this classic cocktail. They add a pop of color and bright citrus flavors.
Boozy refreshing gimlet cocktail on a coupe glass garnished with lime wheel and a jigger on a marble board

How to Make a Gimlet

There’s no bartending experience needed for a gimlet. If you can pour and shake, you have all the skills required! 

Check out how easy this cocktail comes together.

1. Add ice. Fill a cocktail shaker to the top with ice.

2. Get boozy. Pour the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup over the ice and cover.

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3. Shake it up. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until the cocktail shaker feels cold to the touch.

4. Strain and serve. Strain the gimlet into chilled cocktail glasses and serve it immediately. Enjoy!

Gimlet Variations

  • Vodka Gimlet. Is gin not your thing? No worries! You can easily swap out gin for your favorite brand of vodka. Easy peasy.
  • Cucumber Gimlet. The cucumber gimlet is perfect for those hot summer days. Muddle a few slices of cucumber in the bottle of a cocktail shaker to release their mild, clean, and slightly sweet flavor. Shake it up and strain it for an impossibly refreshing Gimlet.
  • Rosemary Gimlet. The rosemary gimlet is light, herbal, and refreshing. The flavors pair perfectly with bright botanical gin. Throw a few sprigs into the simple syrup while preparing to deliver rich rosemary flavors.
Top view of two coupe filled with a refreshing lime-infused gimlet cocktail, garnished with zesty lime wheel on the rim

Best Gin For a Gimlet

Original gimlets almost always used Plymouth gin, thanks to its heavy botanical punch of Juniper berries and citrus. London Dry Gin is another fantastic option.

However, Plymouth and London Dry may not deliver enough sweetness for some. They’re highly botanical and smooth but not very sweet.

If you prefer a slightly sweeter gin for your gimlet, opt for brands like Old Tom, Aviation, or Sipsmith Sloe.

Overall, the best gimlets use a good-quality gin you don’t mind drinking straight up.

Classic Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

Servings

1

serving

The classic gimlet cocktail is timeless and delicious. It’s a tasty blend of gin, fresh lime, and simple syrup. Give it a try today!

Ingredients

  • Ice

  • 2 ounces gin

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 lime wheel, for garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake it well until chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish it with a lime wheel.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Gin Choice. The Gimlet is adaptable, but for a classic taste, opt for London Dry Gin. Its clear profile lets the lime shine.
  • A Vodka Alternative. If gin isn’t your spirit of choice, switch it up with vodka for a delightful vodka gimlet.
  • Chill the Glass. To elevate your cocktail experience, serve your gimlet in a chilled glass. It preserves the drink’s coldness, enhancing its refreshing quality.
  • Fresh Lime Juice. Opt for fresh over bottled lime juice for a genuine and crisp gimlet flavor.
Gimlet Cocktail

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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