A perfect drink for readers of detective stories, the Gimlet was mentioned in a Raymond Chandler novel, The Long Goodbye. Marlowe orders one in a bar at the beginning of Chapter Twenty-Two, and it is featured throughout the novel. Having tried so many classic cocktails, I was shocked to realize I’d never tried this one.
The Gimlet originated in the late 1920s. Whether its named for the drilling tool or after a British naval surgeon who recommended it as an anti-scurvy tonic is not certain. I rather fancy the idea that it was named for gmlet. An abbreviation for “give my love to” that was apparently used during the days of the telegraph (according to wikipedia’s entry.)
What you’ll need: Gin (or Vodka) and lime juice.
In Chandler’s novel, the proportions call for half gin, half lime juice. Most modern recipes call for less lime. Pour 2 1/2 ounces of gin and 1 ounce of lime juice in a shaker over cracked ice. Shake well and then strain into a cocktail glass. Rose’s Lime Juice, a cordial mixer, is traditionally used, but fresh lime juice may be substituted, although you may want to add a simple syrup mixture for sweetness. Optionally, garnish with a lime wedge or twist.
How I like it: For the gin version of this drink, I use Bombay Sapphire Gin (as usual). I also like it with shaved ice so the drink pours with little ice crystals floating on top giving a nice chilly tart taste. However, I’ve come to prefer the vodka version of this drink. For a truly great taste and experience, I suggest using a cucumber-flavored vodka, like Prairie Vodka‘s handcrafted and certified organic cucumber vodka. It makes for a great spring or summer cocktail choice.
Remember, drink responsibly!