Gimlet, Cocktail

A mainstay cocktail of the gin world, the name ‘gimlet’ has somewhat unclear origins. There are two popular theories…

1) A gimlet is a tool used for drilling small holes and the word found colloquial use in describing anything piercing or sharp; hence the name was applied to a cocktail of gin and lime juice.

2) Surgeon General Sir Thomas D. Gimlette of the British Navy is reputed to have introduced this drink in an attempt to stave off scurvy in the ranks. Rum is traditionally seen as the spirit of choice of the navy, but the officer ranks often drank gin in order to distinguish themselves from the riff-raff.

Whatever the history, the gimlet remains a popular drink in the gin fraternity today.

There are many variations on this drink and I suspect, like the martini, no two mixologists will make them quite the same. As with martini, vodka is often substituted for the gin.


  • 2 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 1 ounce Rose’s lime juice
  • Garnish with lime wedge

Preparation method:

  • Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Boom! This drink screams “GIN & LIME” in your mouth. If you like gin, you like lime and you like powerful drinks, then this is for you. Personally, while it was a great wake-up call, it gave me indigestion.


2 thoughts on “Gimlet, Cocktail

  • October 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    On this subject, I was surprised to find that Jamie’s Italian has an excellent list of all very interesting and well-made gin cocktails, including a ‘Twisted Gimlet’, which I tried in the Glasgow restaurant. It was really delicious, and the marmalade in place of the cordial was really interesting. Details below:

    The classic gin & lime cocktail, with English lime marmalade

    Pressed apples, elderflower, mint & Bombay Sapphire gin, topped with soda water

    Blueberries, fresh basil & lemon-infused Bombay Sapphire gin, served over ice

    Hendrick’s gin, dry vermouth & fresh lemon juice, finished with raspberry liqueur

    A gin-based martini, infused with our Earl Grey syrup, fresh lemon, apple juice & Angostura bitters.

    I don’t like all the celebrity restaurant stuff … but these are wonderful, innovative drinks!!

    Keep up the excellent work on the blog (:

    • October 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Thanks for the comment.

      There are some nice sounding cocktails there. I had an earl grey martini at Graphic but it was different to that.


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