The Gimlet is one of the classic cocktails that historically used to be a very simple 50-50 mix. Many will find the 50-50 recipe unbearably sweet by today’s standards, and looking at the official EBS Gimlet recipe, we agree. Gin and Lime Cordial will always be the original ingredients, but it’s more than okay to play with the ratio. Plus, ever since the rise of vodka, bartenders and hobbyists often use vodka instead of gin. But for the last three years, bartenders worldwide are going back to the roots, giving gin its credit once more as a “the real Gimlet ingredient”.
Over time, the recipe has gradually shifted away from the 50% ratio of Cordial, in favour of other ingredients like freshly squeezed lime juice, another type of juices or even water. The European Bartender School teaches classic recipes, but at the same time we have to remember that local recipes and preferences will vary. So a good bartender wouldn’t do his/her job if they weren’t opening up to their customers after all. Therefore, always be prepared to encounter different variations on the Gimlet wherever you work. For instance, there’s another drink called “The Gimblet”, with three parts gin to one part lime juice, shaken together and topped off with soda. Somewhere in between these two recipes you will find your own favourite gimlet – sweet, tart, and refreshing:
On a more personal level, the Gimlet is one of those sipping drinks that has more of a cooling sensation due to its citric content, making it a great cocktail for the tropics. Living in Thailand myself, I highly recommend ordering one instead of a beer sometime, or better yet – come to EBS Phuket and learn all about this classic drink and others right here, in tropical South-East Asia.
Some history surrounding the gimlet
As an old and original English cocktail, the Gimlet is deeply rooted in its country’s history. First of all, in the Royal British Navy a gimlet was a standard-issued tool to open up barrels of liquor. And that same Royal British Navy was required to provide its sailors a daily ration of limes or lime juice in order to prevent scurvy (vitamin C deficiency was a serious health hazard for sailors). But preserving lime juice without alcohol was impossible back then, resulting in all kinds of other problems on board. A smart man named Lauchlin Rose patented a method to preserve citrus juice without alcohol in 1867, allowing the navy to distribute the daily dose of vitamin C without getting its sailors drunk. The sailors disapproved of course, and gin was brought in to the mix. The rest is history.
As a true classic, there are many variations of the Gimlet, and even in its most basic version (gin and Lime Cordial only), experimenting with the percentages can create a personalised experience which is to your very own taste. Have fun mixing!