A cocktail I often forget about, and need to remind myself to order more, are gimlets. They’re just a simple cocktail and are so delicious. It’s also a nice upgrade from a gin and tonic if that’s your go to drink. A classic gimlet is simply 2 parts gin, to 1 part lime juice and a bit of simple syrup. You can also swap the gin for vodka and make a vodka gimlet. A gimlet cocktail is like a margarita though in that you can easily mix it up. Add in fresh flavors, fruits and more to make it fresh for the season. I’ve made a coconut basil gimlet on the blog before here. But one popular variation is a French Gimlet. Basically, you can swap the simple syrup in the classic gimlet for anything else sweet. And in a French Gimlet, that swap is St Germain.
If you’ve never had St Germain, or elderflower liquor, you’re missing out. It’s one of those things I think every bar should have. It has floral and sweet notes making it such a great addition to cocktails. And one shocking statistic I recently learned was that St Germain is fairly new to the bar scene. It was invented in 2007, can you believe it? I feel like it’s been around forever. But I suppose when I think about it, that’s about the time I started drinking grown up cocktails.
French Gimlet Cocktail Recipe
This French gimlet is a perfect cocktail for happy hour with friends, patio drinks or just a way to relax after a day of work. I love when cocktails are simple to put together and this French gimlet is just that. Three ingredients, super easy! And the floral and citrus flavors really sing when they’re together and make for a spectacular cocktail I’m sure you’ll love.
- 2 oz of good gin – I always use Hendricks, but Bombay or Tanqueray are also great choices
- 1 oz of St Germain elderflower liquor
- 1/2 oz of fresh lime juice
- Lime for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
- Combine all your ingreidnets to the shaker – gin, St Germain and lime juice
- Shake until cold for 30 to 60 seconds
- Strain into a martini glass or coupe glass
- Garnish with a lime – I took a peeler and peeled a section, sliced a long slit down the middle and bent it in half to get this fun garnish.
Gimlet Cocktail Variations
There are so many variations of a gimlet and that’s one of the reasons why I love this cocktail so much. Since you can swap the liquor for either gin or vodka and it’s still a gimlet, you can then play around with the other elements of the drink. Also, gimlets don’t have to be in martini glasses. When you order one at a bar, they usually ask, up or on the rocks. You can do it either way!
One of my favorite variations is my coconut basil gimlet is super delicious and refreshing. I love using herbs in cocktails. Since a classic gimlet uses simple syrup, you could also make this with some infused simple syrups which is always a great way to add new flavors to a cocktail. From herb-infused to get even more basil notes, to maybe even a ginger simple syrup (a personal favorite). Definitely get creative with this standard gimlet recipe to make it your own. Another variation that I’m eyeing is of course from my spirit animal, Ina Garten. Her pomegranate gimlets look divine.
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