How to make a gimlet – and an incredible Garden Gimlet alternative to try

A gimlet is made up of gin and lime juice, with te refreshing beverage being typically made of two parts gin and one part lime juice. However, the zesty cocktail was previously was served with measures equal to one another, with more gin being added over the years as tastes became less sweet.

A 1928 description of the drink was: gin, and a spot of lime.

The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) says you should make a gimlet with one half Plymouth Gin and one half Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial.

It’s unclear where the name ‘gimlet’ comes from, but on theory is that the cocktail comes from the tool used for drilling small holes.

It is thought the drink may have been named for its “penetrating” effects on the drinker.

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Another theory is that the drink was named after British Royal Navy Surgeon Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette KCB.

He is said to have first added lime cordial to the daily gin tot of the men of the Royal Navy in a bid to help combat the ravages of scurvy on long voyages

But however it was made, a Gimlet is a simple cocktail that is easy to make at home, even if you don’t have any fancy cocktail shakers. brings you a simple recipe on how to make a gimlet.

How to make a gimlet

What you’ll need:

  • 50ml lime cordial or homemade lime syrup
  • 50ml gin
  • ice
  • slice of lime or edible flower to garnish (optional)


Put a martini or coupe glass in the fridge to chill.

Pour 50ml of lime syrup or cordial into a jug or tall glass and add a few ice cubes and the gin.

Stir, until the outside of the container feels very cold.

Strain the mixture into your chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lime or edible flower.


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There are a number of variants you can try with this cocktail.

One alternative to the cocktail is the vodka gimlet, replaces gin with vodka.

A similar lime juice cocktail which uses rum instead of vodka or gin is the daiquiri.

You can also mix up the type of gin you use. One alternative is BrewDog’s LoneWolf Cactus & Lime, made with lime, the juice of pressed cactus and Queen of the Night – an elusive fragrant cactus flower that only appears after dark. 

You could also try Finders Lemon & Lime Gin, for a real citrus twist on the classic. 

Alternatively, Murphy’s Pomegranate & Lime Gin all add another dimension to your cocktail while Lind & Lime Gin is perfect for a Gimlet as the name is inspired by Dr James Lind of Edinburgh, who conducted one of the first clinical trials aboard the HMS Salisbury in which he noted that the scurvy patients eating citrus fruits were showing good signs. 

Or why not try something even more left field with this Garden Gimlet recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • 50ml Gin (Villa Ascenti or
  • Hendricks works well)
  • 20ml bottlegreen Elderflower
  • Cordial
  • 50g Cucumber, peeled and
  • chopped
  • 10 x Garden Peas (defrosted)


Muddle the cucumbers and peas together until they have mushed into a thick textured juice.

If you are feeling lazy you can LIGHTLY blend the vegetables.

Hard shake all ingredients with ice until chilled then strain with a tea strainer into a martini glass.

Garnish with mint sprigs.

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