Elevate Your Evening With This Vodka Gimlet Recipe

In cocktail making, rules are meant to be broken. Throw out the old gin gimlet recipe and try this vodka one instead.

Updated February 14, 2024
Vodka Gimlet Cocktail

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. 


  • 1¾ ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into the chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Quick Tip

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. 

Elevate Your Evening With This Vodka Gimlet Recipe