The Gimlet is a classic cocktail composed of gin, lime juice and sugar. Like many classics, it’s also a favorite jumping off point for bartenders—both the professional and at-home variety—to experiment. The well-balanced ingredients are welcoming to simple swaps like using vodka in place of gin (hello, Vodka Gimlet) as well as more elaborate outside influences, like muddled fruits and herbs.
The Pink Peppercorn Botanical Gimlet updates the cocktail’s original formula to include a handful of new ingredients, including spicy peppercorns and agave nectar, rather than sugar. But its most intriguing tweak involves a botanical liquor from Square One Organic Spirits, which was founded in 2004 by Allison Evanow, a pioneer in the category.
“The qualifying factor to be called ‘botanical’ anything is that you have to actually use the real plant in some way,” she says. From this launching point, distillers can cross into other categories, like botanical whiskey or rum.
Square One Botanical is distilled from organic rye and water and infused with chamomile, citrus peel, coriander, lavender, lemon verbena, pear, rose and rosemary. The unaged spirit is not gin and it’s not billed as vodka. “I think bartenders especially, but also more knowledgeable consumers, are now understanding that a reference to botanical spirits is simply a broader genus term for a spirit that relies on its main flavor profile from a collection of botanicals regardless of spirit type,” says Evanow.
The botanical spirit lays down a base of fruity, floral and herbal notes, while freshly muddled pink peppercorns lend aromatic spice. Agave nectar and lime juice provide the necessary sweetness and citrus to balance the flavors, producing a Gimlet variation that is light, refreshing and will keep you coming back for more.
- 1.5 teaspoons whole pink peppercorns
- 2 ounces Square One Botanical
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar
- Garnish: lime wheel
- Garnish: peppercorns
In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle the pink peppercorns until crushed.
Add the botanical spirit, lime juice and agave nectar to the shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wheel and a few peppercorns.