The Vodka Gimlet is not a drink to be toyed with. Unlike its gin counterpart, which can slink and sway beneath a periodic table of botanicals, a good Vodka Gimlet should be two things and two things only: cold and strong.
The Gimlet dates back to the late 18th century, when British sailors needed vitamin C to keep scurvy at bay. Enter limes. The little green citrus was ready to help, but getting sailors to drink the sour juice was a lot easier when it was mixed with liquor. The delicious, medicinal drink has been popular since. But it wasn’t until the vodka boom of the 1970s and ’80s that vodka supplanted gin in the Gimlet. While gin is still the traditional choice—and the spirit itself has earned its way back into drinker’s heart—a good Vodka Gimlet has its charms.
When making the cocktail at home, it’s best to start with ice-cold vodka. So, if you’re not already keeping a bottle in your freezer, throw one in there for safekeeping. Then keep it away from the bottle of Rose’s collecting dust on your bar. The sweet, concentrated lime cordial, because of which many a Gimlet has suffered, is no substitute for fresh-squeezed lime juice and simple syrup. The latter duo create a better, more balanced flavor than what is achievable when using the premixed cordial.
The three-ingredient Vodka Gimlet is easy to assemble, right up there with a Daiquiri and other straightforward shaken cocktails. Make one at home the next time you’re craving a simple, delicious drink. The scurvy prevention is just a bonus.
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- Garnish: lime wheel
Add the vodka, lime juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lime wheel.