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Old Fashioned Cocktails

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When was the Gimlet Invented

The Gimlet is a classic cocktail made with gin and lime juice. The precise origins of the Gimlet are unclear, but it is believed to have been invented in the early 20th century as a way to help prevent scurvy among sailors.

One popular story attributes the creation of the Gimlet to Sir Thomas Gimlette, a Royal Navy surgeon who invented the cocktail as a way to encourage sailors to consume more citrus juice and prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Another story suggests that the Gimlet was created during Prohibition in the United States as a way to mask the flavor of bootlegged alcohol.

Regardless of its origins, the Gimlet remains a popular cocktail today and is often enjoyed as a refreshing and tart drink.

What You Need

  • gin
  • fresh lime juice
  • simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel or twist for garnish (optional)

How to Make a Gimlet

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add gin, fresh lime juice, simple syrup to the shaker.
  • Shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds, or until the shaker is frosty and cold to the touch.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Optionally, garnish with a lime wheel or twist by twisting a piece of lime peel over the drink to release the oils, then dropping it into the glass.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Note: You can adjust the amount of lime juice and simple syrup to suit your taste preferences. Some people prefer a stronger lime flavor and use more lime juice, while others prefer a sweeter drink and use more simple syrup. You can also experiment with different types of gin to find your preferred flavor profile.

How To Serve a Gimlet

How to Make Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a sweet syrup made from equal parts sugar and water, used in cocktails, desserts, and other recipes that require a sweetener. Here’s a recipe to make simple syrup:


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and let the simple syrup cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer the simple syrup to a jar or bottle with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Note: You can adjust the sweetness of your simple syrup by using more or less sugar. For a richer syrup, you can use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. You can also add flavorings such as vanilla extract, herbs, or spices to the simple syrup as it simmers to add more depth to the flavor.

Tip For Making a Gimlet

  • Use fresh lime juice: The lime juice is a key component of a Gimlet, and using fresh lime juice will provide the best flavor. Avoid using bottled lime juice or lime cordial, as these may contain additives that can affect the taste of the cocktail.
  • Adjust the sweetness level: The amount of simple syrup used can be adjusted to suit your taste. Start with the 1:3 ratio (2 oz gin, 3/4 oz lime juice, 1/2 oz simple syrup) and adjust as needed. Some people prefer a slightly sweeter drink and use more simple syrup, while others prefer a more tart cocktail and use less.
  • Shake vigorously: Shaking the cocktail vigorously will help to ensure that the ingredients are well combined and that the drink is chilled. Be sure to shake for at least 10-15 seconds or until the shaker is frosty and cold to the touch.
  • Chill the glass: Chilling the cocktail glass in the freezer or by filling it with ice water for a few minutes before making the drink can help to keep the cocktail cold and refreshing.
  • Experiment with garnishes: A lime wheel or twist is a classic garnish for a Gimlet, but you can also experiment with other citrus fruits or herbs to add a different flavor profile. For example, a sprig of fresh mint can add a nice touch of freshness to the drink.

Frequently asked questions

What type of gin should I use for a Gimlet?

You can use any type of gin that you prefer, but a London dry gin will typically pair well with the tartness of the lime juice.

Can I use bottled lime juice or lime cordial instead of fresh lime juice?

While it’s not recommended, you could technically use bottled lime juice or lime cordial if fresh lime juice is not available. However, the flavor of the cocktail may be affected and it may not taste as good as using fresh lime juice.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of a Gimlet?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of a Gimlet by using a non-alcoholic gin substitute and omitting the gin from the recipe. You can also adjust the amount of simple syrup and lime juice to suit your taste preferences.

Can I make a batch of Gimlets ahead of time?

Yes, you can make a batch of Gimlets ahead of time by mixing the ingredients together in a large pitcher and chilling it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. However, it’s important to note that the lime juice may lose its freshness over time and the cocktail may taste slightly different than if made fresh.


Old Fashioned Cocktails


Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Gimlet cocktail was first created in the British fleet at the end of the 19th century and was later loved by the main character in the famous novel "The Long Goodbye", so it quickly became popular. A reasonable combination of gin and fresh lime juice, with simple ingredients that better highlight the freshness and elegance of the ingredients themselves!


  • 1 ½ oz gin
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz syrup
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 slice of lime


Combine gin, lime juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.Garnish with a slice of lime.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Robin Lee

Robin is author, photographer, and cocktail enthusiast. He has a passion for life, love of mixology, and enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Robin’s cocktails are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor. He’s always pushing the boundaries of mixology and loves to experiment with unique ingredients and techniques. With Robin’s guidance, you can learn the art of mixology and create cocktails that are sure to impress.

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