We understand that gin isn't everyone's cup of tea (or cocktail). While the original gimlet calls for gin, some bartenders plucked the vodka off the shelf, and voilà – a crisp vodka gimlet was born. While gin's botanicals refuse to share the spotlight, vodka's neutral palette lets the lime juice jump to the forefront of your mouth. If you like a smooth but serious drink, this is the one for you.
How to Make a Vodka Gimlet
Rest assured, swapping vodka for gin doesn't make a gimlet any less flavorful. No two vodkas are exactly alike, and these subtle differences will have a noticeable impact on your gimlet's final taste. And, once you've mastered this simple gimlet recipe, you can branch out and start experimenting with the wonderful world of flavored vodkas.
- Chill a martini glass or coupe.
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup.
- Shake to chill.
- Strain into the chilled glass.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
Flavored vodka is something you've got to have in your vodka gimlet arsenal. We suggest using lime vodka, cucumber-infused vodka, or blueberry vodka to punch up the original's flavor.
Related: Here's Looking at You, Gin Gimlet
3 Variations & Substitutions to Try
While the vodka gimlet's essentials make for a short shopping list, feel free to be inspired by the flavors around and experiment with interesting substitutions and variations.
- A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice adds an extra tart flavor.
- Add rosemary-flavored simple syrup if you want a sweet pop of aroma.
- Vary the proportion of lime juice to make the cocktail more or less sour.
Garnishes to Dress Things Up
A traditional vodka gimlet garnish is a lime wedge, but don't feel like you're painted in a corner. Consider a few alternative garnishes to make yours pop.
- If you want to use a lime garnish, consider using a lime wheel or slice.
- A lime peel, twist, or coin adds a visually enticing look to the classic cocktail.
- Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel for a unique look. You can also use a dehydrated orange or lemon wheel without altering the cocktail, as well.
- Add a thyme sprig for a slight herbaceous touch that won't overpower the gimlet.
Raise a Glass to the Vodka Gimlet
Just because a cocktail's roots call for a specific spirit doesn't mean you can't explore or experiment! Using vodka as the base for a gimlet offers the chance to experience old flavors with a new twist. So dive right in, shake it up, and pour yourself a vodka gimlet that's so crisp you'll find your taste buds strolling through a lime orchard.