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A Real (Good) Gimlet

Fresh limes in a Gimlet? 

Fresh limes in a Gimlet? 

By Camper English, contributor

September 17th, 2010


"A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's lime juice and nothing else," said Terry Lennox in Raymond Chandler's book The Long Goodbye

If that’s the case, I’ll have a real Martini instead. Rose’s is preserved lime juice which came in handy as a scurvy preventative on sailing ships in the days before refrigeration, but today we can buy fresh limes year-round. I think they taste much better. 

And as long as we’re being unfaithful to the original recipe, we may as well flaunt the affair. The Gimlet loves fresh herbs. Add a mint leaf or some basil, lemon verbena, or even cilantro to the shaker, muddle in a cucumber, or use a flavored syrup instead of simple syrup. Some folks even prefer vodka in the drink. 

Or just make the fresh version of the original, as below. Like any recipe it’s a recommended starting point and not the only way to make the drink. Or to prevent scurvy. 

The Gimlet
1.5 ounces Gin or Vodka
.5 ounces Simple Syrup (equal parts sugar and water, shaken until sugar dissolves)
.5 ounces Fresh Lime Juice

All all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. 


posted in: Blogs, drinks, cocktails, camper english, gin, vodka, gimlet, lime juice, rose's lime
Comments (6)

12BottleBar writes: Camper, while I completely agree with you, I also disagree. I love a fresh lime gimlet and despise Rose's, so we did a little experimenting and came up with a homemade "preserved" lime juice that's vastly different from other recipes but extremely simple. The result is more true to the original while being and tasting more "honest".

If you're interested: Posted: 2:51 pm on October 20th

FlagHillFarmVermont writes: Hello Camper,
I noticed your refreshing Queen Bee Mojito and having had amaizng mojitos in the Dominican Republic I'm curious to try this one adapted to our champagne method hard Cyder
We make Hard Cyder in Vermont- a semi-dry Still and a bone dry sparkling Champagne method. Both are aged 2 years and are certified organic. We also make two brandies -Pomme de Vie Vermont Apple brandy and Stair's Pear a clear eau de vie. I am wondering if you have ideas for drinks we have a Vermont Honey bee on our web site but I'd love it if you or other readers have more ideas.
Please see for more info and to contact us. Posted: 8:09 pm on September 21st

Garfinkel writes: I hear where you are coming from, but a Gimlet is specifically Gin and lime cordial. Exact amounts vary. What you are describing is simply a Gin (or vodka) Sour. Posted: 9:55 am on September 18th

Pielove writes: I am putting this on my husband's to-do list for this weekend! Posted: 9:23 pm on September 17th

peskyone writes: I am with you I have all the ingredients on hand, so think I will try one myself. Will think of my good friend Judy who now lives in Florida and whom I enjoyed many a Gimlet with ... hmmmm. Posted: 6:33 pm on September 17th

DMickelsen writes: I love a good gimlet, and I agree--fresh lime juice is an absolute must! Think I'll have one when I get home. It's Friday, after all! Posted: 3:14 pm on September 17th

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