Home » Classic Gimlet Cocktail

Classic Gimlet Cocktail

The classic gimlet cocktail is a tart and refreshing blend of gin, lime juice, and simple syrup. It can also be prepared with vodka.

classic Gimlet cocktail, with cocktail shaker and bottle of Bombay Sapphire

Classic Gimlet Cocktail

The gimlet is one of the classic gin cocktails. It is a simple drink that is made with gin, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. The resulting drink is light and refreshing, with a subtle green hue. But don’t be fooled by the mild flavor, the gimlet is a strong drink – similar to a traditional martini – in that the main ingredient is liquor. But if you’re not keen on a martini, the gimlet is a tart and tasty alternative to try!

Where Did The Gimlet Get Its Name?

The Gimlet cocktail is often attributed to Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette, a 20th-century British Royal Navy surgeon. At the time, fresh lime juice was often used by sailors as a remedy to prevent scurvy. However, fresh lime juice is not always very tasty to drink on its own due to its sharp citrus flavor and tartness.

As the story goes, Gimlette decided to make a better-tasting beverage, blending gin with lime juice. As one can imagine, this new drink was a hit with the crew, who supposedly named the drink after Gimlette in his honor.

Gimlet cocktail, close up


  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

For Garnish

  • Lime wheel or lime wedge

Helpful Bartending Tools

For your convenience, we’ve included shop-able ad links to products we love and use; disclosure policy available here.

Recipe intended for readers 21+

Gimlet ingredients, with text labels: "simple syrup, gin, lime juice"


  1. Add gin, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Stir vigorously for about 10 seconds, to chill the ingredients.
  3. Strain and pour into a martini glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel.
pouring a gin cocktail into a martini glass

Prep Tips

  • To keep your drink cold longer, chill your martini glass in the freezer for 30 minutes before making your cocktails.
  • For a sweeter drink, use 1 ounce of simple syrup. For a tarter drink, you may omit the simple syrup altogether.
  • For a “shortcut” version of the gimlet, you can use sweetened lime juice in place of the fresh lime juice and simple syrup. This is not the traditional preparation, but in my days of bartending, I saw quite a few bartenders use this trick.
Gimlet cocktail in a martini glass, with cocktail shaker, gin bottle, and limes

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Shake Or Stir A Gimlet?

The traditional method to prepare a gimlet is to stir the ingredients with ice, as it cools the drink without watering it down.

However, you prefer a frosty drink, you can absolutely shake the contents of your cocktail shaker, rather than stir. Keep in mind that this will break off some of the ice cubes into smaller pieces and dilute the drink a bit. That may be just what you’re going for – I actually do like a shaken cocktail myself. But for a stronger drink, I recommend sticking with the stirring method.

Is A Gimlet Made With Gin Or Vodka?

The classic gimlet recipe is made with gin. However, it is often made with vodka for those who don’t care for the flavor of gin. The choice of spirit is a matter of personal preference – it’s entirely up to the drinker!

Flavor-wise, vodka is more neutral, while gin has a pronounced botanical flavor. Some love the way that the herbaceous gin blends with the tart lime juice, while others simply enjoy a lime-forward flavor (and vodka does not compete with the citrus at all).

Gimlet cocktail, shot at an angle, with bottle of Bombay Sapphire in background

More Gin Cocktails To Try

Classic Gimlet Cocktail Recipe (Printable Recipe Card)

If you tried this recipe and liked it, please rate it!

Gimlet cocktail

Classic Gimlet Cocktail

The classic Gimlet cocktail doesn’t require much to make and has the perfect balance of gin and sour for a dinner party or a nightcap.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Classic Gimlet, Gimlet
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 199kcal
Author: Stacey


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 Lime wedge
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the gin, lime juice & simple syrup.
  • Shake well.
  • Pour into a martini glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel.
  • Cheers!


Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

Pin Our Gimlet Cocktail Recipe on Pinterest:

Gimlet cocktail pinterest image, with text overlay of ingredients: "gin, lime juice, simple syrup"

You might also like:

Limeade Margarita Pinterest Image

Limeade Margarita

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating