"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.