All this week we are counting down to World Gin Day on Saturday 14 June with Six Classic Gin Cocktails.

Are you concerned about nutrition? Cos this cocktail was designed as a health supplement. Yes really! Back in day when navy sailors were at sea for endless months with no fresh food, they had a serious problem with scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency. To combat scurvy they were given limes. These ships were also carrying navy strength gin*. Mix together your daily ration of lime juice, your daily ration of gin, add a little sugar and you’ve got yourself and Gimlet and a scurvy-free voyage.

There are two suggestions as to why it’s called a Gimlet. One is that it my have been prescribed by British Royal Navy Surgeon Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette. Or it may have been named after a device for boring holes, a gimlet, as it had a gimlet like effect on the drinkers brain.


60mL gin (Plymouth Navy Strength if you’re being traditional)
15mL fresh lime juice
15mL sugar syrup

Combine with ice in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime peel. Or if you’re being traditional, mix it up in whatever ship-board empty vessel you can find and don’t pansy about with a garnish.


*Navy Strength gin is over 57% ABV which apparently is the proof that will not ruin gunpowder if it is accidentally spilt on it.

2 comments on “Gin Cocktails | Gimlet”

  1. I made a super-tart, super-syrupy lemon syrup for cake the other night. Had some left over. If I shake it over ice with some gin do you think I could pass it off as a gimlet?

    • No but it will make a lovely gin sour. Use egg white and shake it without ice to get it really rich then shake again with ice. If that isn’t your thing pour it over ice in a tall glass and charge with a dash of soda to make a Collins.

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