Variations and Substitutions
The gin gimlet is a simple cocktail consisting of just three ingredients, but that doesn't mean you're limited to those options. You can swap flavors and proportions to make the best gin gimlet for you.
- Use lime cordial instead of lime juice for a tarter flavor with a little extra sweetness.
- Experiment with different types of gin, London dry, genever, Plymouth, Old Tom, or homemade fruit-infused gin to find the right profile for you.
- Include a splash of lemon juice for an extra touch of sour.
- Increase the amount of simple syrup if you want a sweeter taste.
- Similarly, add more lime juice for a sharper flavor.
A typical gin gimlet uses a lime slice for garnish, but don't feel limited by this. You can go as big or conservative on a garnish as you'd like.
- Keep the lime garnish, but use a wheel or wedge instead of a slice.
- Peel the lime, using a straight strip, twist it, or use a coin shape for a garnish.
- Use a rosemary or thyme sprig for a slight herbaceous scent without changing the cocktail.
- Incorporate a dehydrated lime wheel for a new look. You can also use a dehydrated orange or lemon as these won't alter the flavor of the drink.
About the Gin Gimlet
The gin gimlet has long existed in many forms. The first recipe called for nothing more than gin with a splash of lime juice. Since then, the recipe has only varied slightly, adding a little more lime juice and including simple syrup. This recipe proved to be more prevalent in the early 1900s, with a greater proportion of simple syrup than is found in the modern-day gimlet. Unlike many other cocktails, the gimlet grew tarter over the years rather than sweeter.
Like its recipe, the name has evolved as well, sometimes referred to as a gin sour in recipe books in the mid-1900s, until the gin gimlet name began to stick and become a colloquial term at bars. The term gimlet was given to describe the drink because of its homonym characteristics: the term gimlet describes a construction tool used to drill small holes, but is also a slang term for something that's piercing or sharp. With these definitions, imbibers quickly felt that the drink shared these drilling and sharp qualities once the last drop was finished.
A Toast to the Gin Gimlet
This perfectly sour drink is a great chance to expand your drink palette beyond the typical whiskey or amaretto sours. With its simple list of ingredients, there's no reason not to add this to your wheelhouse.