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Gin Gimlet Cocktail

The Gin Gimlet cocktail is one of the easiest classic cocktails to craft at home. It’s also one of the classiest.

Gin Gimlet on Black Slate

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!”

Robin Williams

We didn’t fully understand the verity of this statement until we crafted Gin Gimlets on an early March evening. It hit us after we went outside and noticed grass sprouting through the sidewalk.

Gin Gimlet with Lime on Grass
Drinking this Gin Gimlet outside brought us close to nature albeit in an urban setting.

We tasted spring in every sip. And spring tasted good.

What Is a Gin Gimlet?

Gin Gimlet on Green Marble
Cool, classy, sweet and tart and just a few words to describe a Gin Gimlet cocktail.

In simple terms, the Gin Gimlet is a sophisticated sipper that combines gin with lime and sugar to create a cocktail that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Its complex flavor contrasts the yin of tart lime with the yang of sugar’s sweetness in a way that simply works.

Enjoying a Gin Gimlet
Drinking this Gin Gimlet made us smile.

Originally imbibed to prevent scurvy (more on that later), the Gin Gimlet caught our eye when Betty Draper sipped them on Mad Men. Little did we know that these lime-forward gin cocktails would be so easy to craft and even easier to drink.

History of the Gin Gimlet

Gin Gimlet on Step
The Gin Gimlet’s history reveals itself step by step.

When it comes to the Gin Gimlet’s origin story, this classic cocktail has a colorful backstory that involves British officers, sailors and scurvy. It all sounds scandalous but it’s actually quite mundane.

As we learned while touring the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, British sailors lived a really tough life while sailing the seas during the 19th century. Liquor softened the edges and, when mixed with lime juice, helped to prevent scurvy.

So, it’s fair to call the Gin Gimlet a life saver with its one-two punch of alcohol and vitamin C. As for the officers, they just liked the way that the Gin Gimlet tasted. We can relate.

Gin Gimlet Ingredients

Gin Gimlet Ingredients
Besides ice, these are the only ingredients necessary for crafting a Gin Gimlet at home.

The Gimlet is a classic three-ingredient cocktail except when it’s a classic two ingredient cocktail. It all comes down to whether you want to go old school with Rose’s Lime Juice or craft a cocktail with natural ingredients.

Since we prefer to go the natural route, our Gin Gimlet includes the following ingredients:

  • Dry Gin
  • Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Lime Juice

In addition to these three required ingredients, you’ll also need ice for shaking and a lime wheel for garnish. You can slice the wheel from one of the limes before you juice it. As for ice, any frozen water in your freezer should suffice.

Pro Tip
Save money by making simple syrup from scratch. It’s as easy as boiling water and sugar in a 1:1 ratio until the sugar dissolves. Make sure you stir frequently so that the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. We used 1/2 cup of each which created more simple syrup than we needed to craft two cocktails.

Click here if you want to buy simple syrup anyway. We recommend Monin Pure Cane Sugar syrup since it’s made without artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

Gin for Gin Gimlet
We always use the best available liquor for our cocktails. We used Citadelle dry gin to craft this Gin Gimlet.

Since gin is the only required liquor in this cocktail recipe, we don’t recommend using one that’s overly floral or herbaceous. We crafted our Gin Gimlet with Citadelle dry gin from France. Made with 18 different botanicals in addition to juniper, this quality dry gin has a sweet spiciness that plays well with lime and sugar.

How To Make a Gin Gimlet Cocktail

Gin Gimlet in Shaker
Crafting a Gin Gimlet is ridiculously easy with only four simple steps.

The list of necessary bar tools to craft a Gin Gimlet is as short as the classic cocktail’s ingredient list. All you need is a cocktail shaker, strainer and jigger.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Pouring Gin into a Gin Gimlet
Step 1: Measure and Pour the Ingredients

The first step in crafting a Gin Gilet is to measure and pour the three ingredients. We measured our ingredients with a jigger and then poured them directly into a cocktail shaker.

Shaking a Gin Gimlet
Step 2: Shake, Shake Shake

The second step is to add ice and shake until the ingredients are chilled and mixed. You could alternatively stir the ingredients; however, we like how shaking integrates the flavors.

Click here to buy a Boston shaker if you need a shaker or if you’re ready for an upgrade. It’s a lazy mixology game changer.

Straining a Gin Gimlet
Step 3: Strain the Gin Gimlet into a Coupe Glass

Straining the Gin Gimlet into a coupe glass is the third step. Since shaking with ice chills the cocktail, no additional ice is necessary.

Click here to to buy two Riedel coupe glasses on Amazon.

Crafted Gin Gimlet
Step 4: Add a Lime Wheel as Garnish

All that’s left to do is add a lime wheel. We typically slice a wheel from one of the limes before we juice it and then cut a slit so that the wheel fits snugly onto the cocktail glass.

Gin Gimlet Alternatives

Gin Gimlet Outside
How you drink your Gimlet is up to you. We crafted this one with gin and drank it outside.

If you’re feeling experimental or want to switch out the gin for a different liquor, here are some easy alternative cocktails to craft at home:

  • Replace the lime juice and simple syrup with Rose’s Lime Juice. However, be aware that the American version includes high fructose corn syrup.
  • Add a slice of cucumber to craft a Cucumber Gimlet.
  • Replace the gin with rum to craft a Daiquiri.
  • Replace the gin with tequila to craft a Tequila Gimlet.
  • Replace the gin with vodka to craft a Vodka Gimlet.
  • Replace the simple syrup with St. Germain to craft a French Gimlet.
Sipping a Gin Gimlet
Sharing is caring except when it comes to Gin Gimlets.

However, don’t feel pressured to experiment if you end up loving our easy Gin Gimlet recipe as much as we do.

Gin Gimlet Recipe

Gin Gimlet on Black Slate

Gin Gimlet Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Craft our classic Gin Gimlet Cocktail with just three ingredients. We love this tart, sweet cocktail and so will you.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • ice cubes
  • lime wheel for garnish


  1. Pour gin, lime juice and simple syrup into a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously until ingredients are mixed and chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.


  • You can replace the lime juice and simple syrup with 2/3 oz. Rose's Lime Juice.
  • Making simple syrup from scratch takes 10 minutes. We consider it time well spent.
  • You can use a small martini glass if you don't have a coupe glass.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


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