CORDIALLY YOURS In the current cocktail zeitgeist of 'fresh is best,' the Gimlet, a cocktail of bottled lime cordial and herbal gin, stands alone with its green glow of Rose's West India Sweetened Lime Juice, popularized aboard British sailing vessels for its ability to travel well at sea. The Gimlet, of course, may be modernized using fresh lime juice, or by substituting vodka. However, most would agree that Bombay Sapphire® Gin, inspired by the Empire in India, makes the perfect partner to Rose's in a truly classic Gimlet, a simple and refreshing combination that stands the test of time, no matter which way the wind blows.
THE GIMLET TODAY
2 parts Bombay Sapphire®
2/3 part Rose's lime juice
1/4 part fresh lime juice
Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.
Try these simple ways to take this classic cocktail in new directions.
Add a sprig of fresh mint to the cocktail shaker.
Muddle fresh fruit or cucumber for a seasonal variation.
Substitute Grey Goose® Vodka or Cazadores® Reposado Tequila for Bombay Sapphire®.
Replace Rose's Lime Juice with 1 part fresh lime juice and 3/4 part simple syrup, topped with seltzer for a Gin Rickey.
HISTORY OF THE GIMLET
1867 Lauchlan Rose patents a method to preserve citrus juice without alcohol, a technology well-timed for the passage of the English Merchant Shipping Act of 1867, which made it compulsory or all ocean going ships to carry lime juice rations to protect against scurvy.
1879 Thomas D. Gimlette is appointed Surgeon General to the British Royal Navy. Given his introduction of lime juice to he navel officers' ration of gin (the general crew received rum), some allege he lent his name to the Gimlet cocktail.
1922 In his ABC of Mixing Cocktails, famous barman Harry MacElhone of the New York Bar, Paris, includes a recipe for the Gimlet, combining equal parts gin and Rose's Lime Juice Cordial, noting that the drink is "a very popular beverage in the Navy."
1939 In his Gentleman's Companion, Charles H. Baker extolls, "Throughout the whole swing of the Far East, starting with Bombay-down the Malabar Coastto Colombo; to Penang, Singapore, Hongkong and Shanghai-the Gimlet is just as well known as our Martini here."
1953 With the publication of The Long Goodbye, popular author Raymond Chandler introduces America to the Gimlet as his tough-guy private eye Philip Marlowe proclaims, "A real Gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats Martinis hollow."
1969 Ed Wood, heralded as the"worst director ever" and portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 1994 biopic, adopts the pseudonym Akdov Telmig-the backward spelling of Vodka Gimlet. Today, cocktail connoisseurs recognize that the Gimlet is best mixed with gin.
1987 Inspired by gin's popularity in India during the British Raj, Bombay Sapphire® is created as a gin flavored with 10 precious botanicals, including juniper, held in perforated copper baskets for infusion into the spirit vapor.
2007 In the inaugural season of AMC's Mad Men, Betty Draper, portrayed by January Jones, overindulges in Gimlets over dinner, informing her husband, Don, on the ride home, "Lobster Newburg and Gimlets should get a divorce. They're not getting along very well."