The Gimlet is a classic cocktail that’s refreshingly simple and delicious! Made with just 3 ingredients, it’s easy to make and perfect for sipping all summer long. Whether you make it with vodka or gin, you’re going to love the sweet, tart flavor combination in this tasty drink!
I made a big decision recently, and it had to do with drinks. I decided that I really needed to become more literate… so that when people talk about a classic cocktails, I actually know what they’re talking about!
So I made a list of all the cocktails I could think of… and then I got to work. I started measuring and pouring and experimenting with different ingredients and amounts. And I came up with the BEST possible version of each one.
This Vodka Gimlet recipe is made with just 3 simple ingredients – vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup – and the proportions are spot on. It can also be made with gin if you prefer a Gin Gimlet.
Although the classic recipe calls for lime cordial, such as Rose’s Lime Juice, I prefer the flavor of fresh lime juice and simple syrup. If you’ve never had it this way, it’s definitely worth trying!
There are a couple different ways to make Gimlets, and each will yield slightly different results. Gimlets can be made with either vodka or gin, depending on your preference, and while this recipe uses fresh lime juice and simple syrup, they can also be made with Rose’s Lime Juice or a homemade lime cordial.
- 2 oz. vodka or gin
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
The classic preparation for a Gimlet is shaken, with ice, and served straight up. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can improvise with any type of jar with a lid.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add 2 oz. vodka or gin, 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice, and 1/2 oz. simple syrup.
- Shake well; strain into coupe glass.
- Garnish with a lime wheel.
🌱 Recipe variations
As with any recipe, the Gimlet is easy to switch up depending on your flavor preferences. Here are some fun variations to try:
- Substitute gin for vodka
- Use your favorite flavored vodka or gin
- Substitute lime cordial for fresh lime juice + simple syrup
- Use basil or rosemary flavored simple syrup
- Add muddled cucumber and garnish with a cucumber wheel
- Add a splash of St. Germain or you favorite liqueur
- Garnish with fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary, basil, or sage
⚖️ Lime cordial vs. fresh lime juice
Gimlets are traditionally made with lime cordial, which is different than fresh lime juice. Since lime cordial is made with a combination of sugar, water, lime juice, lime zest, and citric acid, it produces a cocktail with more tartness and bitterness than fresh lime juice + simple syrup.
Many people swear by the need for lime cordial; others prefer the simple flavor of fresh lime juice. As a compromise, you might consider making a lime flavored simple syrup with both lime juice and zest. The zest will add a bitter element that may better mimic lime cordial.
🍶 How to make lime simple syrup
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 c. water, 1 c. sugar, and 2 limes (sliced).
- Bring to a boil; cover and remove from heat to cool.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
🍹 Related recipes
Looking for more delicious classic cocktail recipes? Here are some to try!