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Cotswold Cocktail School - Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

ABV 23% / 2.5 alcoholic units

Primary spirit: Gin

A Brief History of the Gimlet

The Gimlet's origins are intertwined with British naval history. It's believed to have been created in the 19th century as a means of preventing scurvy among sailors, thanks to the inclusion of lime juice. The cocktail's name might be a nod to Surgeon Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette, who is said to have popularized the lime and gin mixture as a way to make the sailors consume their daily dose of vitamin C.

Over the years, the Gimlet evolved from a medicinal concoction to a classic cocktail served in elegant bars and lounges. Today, it's cherished for its timeless simplicity and refreshing taste.

Taste and Flavour Profile

The Gimlet is a masterpiece of simplicity, featuring a clean and zesty flavour:

  • Gin: The base spirit, often a London dry gin, contributes botanical complexity, with juniper at the forefront.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: The star ingredient, freshly squeezed lime juice, provides a tangy and citrusy punch, balancing the gin's herbal notes.
  • Simple Syrup: A touch of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) adds just enough sweetness to round out the cocktail.

The result is a cocktail that's crisp, tangy, and impeccably balanced—a true testament to the art of mixology.

Food Pairings

To enhance your Gimlet experience, consider these delectable food pairings:

  • Oysters: The briny freshness of oysters pairs beautifully with the Gimlet's zesty and crisp character.
  • Ceviche: The citrusy notes in ceviche harmonise with the cocktail's lime juice, creating a refreshing combination.
  • Sushi: The clean and elegant flavorus of sushi, especially sashimi and nigiri, complement the Gimlet's simplicity.
  • Light Appetisers: Serve light appetisers like shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, or smoked salmon canapés for a delightful pairing.

Bar Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Hawthorne strainer
  • Coup or rocks glass


  • 60ml gin
  • 15ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 15ml simple syrup*
  • Garnish: lime wheel


  • Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled coup glass or rocks glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with a lime twist

*Simple syrup - 1 part sugar to one part water. Gently heat in a pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to cool

What's the best Gin for a Gimlet?

The best gin for a Gimlet cocktail is typically a high-quality London dry gin. Here are a few reasons why London dry gin is a popular choice for this classic cocktail:

  • Clean and Crisp Profile: London dry gins are known for their clean and crisp flavour profiles, making them an excellent base spirit for cocktails like the Gimlet. They have a balanced combination of botanicals and juniper notes.
  • Botanical Complexity: London dry gins often feature a variety of botanicals, which can add depth and complexity to the cocktail. These botanicals can include juniper, coriander, citrus peel, and various herbs and spices.
  • Versatility: London dry gin pairs well with the other ingredients in a Gimlet, such as lime juice and simple syrup. Its neutral yet flavorful characteristics allow the cocktail's citrusy and slightly sweet notes to shine.

Popular brands of London dry gin that are frequently recommended for making Gimlet cocktails include Tanqueray, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Gordon's. These gins offer a well-balanced juniper-forward profile that works beautifully in a Gimlet. However, there are many other excellent London dry gins available, so you can explore different brands to find one that suits your taste preferences.

While London dry gin is the traditional choice for a Gimlet, you can also experiment with other styles of gin, such as botanical or flavoured gins, if you're looking to create unique variations of the cocktail.

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