Featured Cocktail: The Gimlet
This episode’s featured cocktail is the Gimlet – a simple gin cocktail that has a long, complicated history. We chose it because the changes in its recipe mirror some of the changes and trends we discuss in this episode with Victoria.
To make the Gimlet these days (and we’ll explain what we mean about that in a minute), you’ll need:
2 oz Gin
¾ oz of Fresh Lime Juice
¾ oz of Simple Syrup
Combine these ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake for about 20 seconds, and then strain into your favorite whimsical stemmed cocktail glass. We find that this drink often benefits from a colorful garnish, so feel free to garnish with a lime wheel or a nice slender lime twist.
Now, the recipe listed above is the contemporary recipe for the gimlet – the one you’ll get at most cocktail bars. But, the drink is said to have its origins in the British navy, and if there’s one thing we all know about those dudes it’s that they were always trying to find ways to stave off scurvy.
As the stories go, Rose’s lime cordial was invented sometime during the mid-1800s as a way to preserve lime juice for stable transport and shelf life, and the name of the drink is often attributed to Naval medical officer Desmond Gimlette, who found a way to combine this product with gin to make the vitamin C vehicle more palatable.
One important thing to note is that the rose’s lime juice we see on the shelves today is a far cry from what it was during the 1800s. It’s got high fructose corn syrup and a bunch of other preservatives, so it’s not an accurate historical substitution for the original Rose’s lime cordial, all things being equal, we’d stick with the classic lime and simple syrup sour ratio.