This classic gin gimlet recipe is a riff on the version which appears in Death and Co’s Cocktail Codex. A dash of aromatic orange bitters has been added at the suggestion of longtime New York bartenders Nicole and Mcson Salicetti, both veterans of some of the city’s top bars, who recommend the finishing touch to “punch up a different citrus essence and add cohesion to the cocktail.”
Batching out your own lime cordial in advance is a time-saving step that doesn’t compromise on fresh citrus flavor, but if you’re only making one drink, feel free to replace that component with 1 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice and ¾ ounce simple syrup. Whether you’re shaking up a from-scratch lime gimlet or batching out your own homemade cordial, freshly squeezed citrus is key. In general, bottled juices don’t provide the same brightness and intensity you’ll get from the fresh stuff, so always start with whole fruit. Generally speaking, large Persian limes will yield more juice and are less acidic than Makrut or Mexican (also known as Key) limes. The nuances of aroma vary between varieties, but all make a lovely gimlet. As with any citrus, choose fruits that are firm and heavy, with unblemished skin.
Featured in: “Dissecting the Classic Gimlet.”
Classic Gin Gimlet
The gin gimlet is one of the simplest — and most delicious — classic cocktails. For the best at-home version, start with the right ingredients, then master this basic formula.
- 2 oz. navy-strength gin (preferably Plymouth)
- 1½ oz. oz. lime cordial (homemade or store-bought)
- 1–2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 lime wedge, wheel, or twist, for garnish
- To a cocktail filled with ice shaker, add the gin, lime cordial, and orange bitters. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe, Nick and Nora, or a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge, wheel, or twist, and serve immediately.