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Spotlight Shots: The Gimlet

“We sat in a corner of the bar at Victor’s and drank gimlets. ‘They don’t know how to make them here,’ he said. ‘What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.’”

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

For all the visual flair and unchecked, verbal pyrotechnics that have come to define the modern day cocktail menu, there’s no denying that you just can’t beat a classic. Simple in its execution, modest in its ingredients, and subtle in its flavours, the humble Gimlet is exactly that. 

Rumour has it that the Gimlet is so classic, in fact, that it was originally concocted to help sailors fight off scurvy. A simple mix of London Dry Gin and Rose’s Lime Cordial, the drink stands on its own merits with need for neither pomp nor presence. In fact, it’s a drink so good that Raymond Chandler saw fit to give it mention no less than 21 times in his 1953 novel The Long Goodbye. If you haven’t already replaced your Gin & Tonic with the Gimlet this summer then feel free to do so now and just thank us later.

Now, Chander’s verbiage up top offers a simple enough rundown of the drink’s specifics, but here’s a little workaround for those – presumably living on the moon – who can’t obtain lime cordial. Here goes:

2 ounces of your favourite gin

3/4 ounces of lime juice

3/4 ounce simple syrup (that’s equal parts sugar and water for the uninitiated)

The method is equally simple: just add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker along with a little ice and shake until chilled. Fine Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel. Drink, enjoy, and pretend you’re a housebound, hard-boiled detective waiting for a tip off.

Bottoms up.