Variations and Substitutions
While the vodka gimlet has a short grocery list of ingredients, you can still play around with proportions and swap a few ingredients to make the ideal vodka gimlet for you.
- Consider using lime vodka, cucumber-infused vodka, or blueberry vodka to punch up the flavor.
- Lemon vodka can also add a new layer of citrus.
- A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice adds some extra tart flavor.
- Add more simple syrup if you want a sweeter flavor.
- Vary the proportion of lime juice to make the cocktail more or less sour.
A traditional vodka gimlet garnish is a lime wedge, but don't feel as though you're painted into a corner. Consider a few alternative garnishes to make your vodka gimlet 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.
About the Vodka Gimlet
The original gimlet called for gin, but as it is such a divisive spirit, it can steer some away from this drink. As time passed, bartenders began to use vodka, a logical choice as its crisp and neutral palette allows the lime juice to jump to the forefront of flavors rather than share the spotlight with the juniper notes in the gin.
Using vodka doesn't mean that the gimlet is any less flavorful. Today, most vodkas have a singular flavor or profile, altering the taste of spirit-forward drinks depending on the brand or flavor used. This makes the vodka gimlet even easier to customize. By using lime vodka, there's a beautiful lime gimlet without any extra sour flavor to detract from the overall flavor. Similarly, a lemon vodka creates a citrus vodka gimlet that is a perfectly balanced citrus flavor but retains its gimlet roots.
Raising 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 spirit for a gimlet offers the chance to explore old flavors with a new twist.