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My favorite way to make a classic 3-ingredient gimlet cocktail, naturally sweetened with honey simple syrup.

Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

Tgif, friends! I vote that we toast the weekend with one of my favorite fresh and easy warm-weather cocktails…

…a classic gimlet. ♡

(Yes, for all of you podcast listeners out there, the gimlet was a gin cocktail long before it was a media network!)  If you happen to be new to this drink, a classic gimlet is traditionally made with gin, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. It’s quick and easy to mix in a cocktail shaker or mason jar with ice, and then it is traditionally served with a slice of lime. So simple!

I prefer to naturally sweeten gimlet cocktails with honey simple syrup, whose botanical flavor I believe pairs more beautifully with gin than traditional white sugar simple syrup. You are also welcome to sub vodka for gin, of course, if you prefer a vodka gimlet. And if you feel like getting a bit creative and customizing your own gimlet, I’ve also included many other idea below for other herbs, liqueurs or botanicals that would be delicious add-ins too.

It’s a simple three-ingredient recipe that should be in every cocktail lover’s back pocket. So grab your favorite bottle of gin, and let’s make a gimlet!

Gin Gimlet Ingredients

Gimlet Ingredients:

To make this classic gimlet recipe, you will need the following ingredients (amounts listed in the recipe below)…

  • Gin: Use whatever kind of gin you love best for this cocktail!
  • Fresh limes: Some will argue that a classic gimlet drink needs to be made with lime cordial, but I prefer to use freshly-squeezed lime juice, which many historians believe is actually how this cocktail originated.
  • Honey simple syrup: Made easily by whisking together a 50/50 mix of honey and warm water until the honey has dissolved.
  • Ice: To shake and chill the cocktail.

How To Make A Gimlet Cocktail

How To Make A Gimlet Cocktail:

To make a gin gimlet cocktail, simply…

  1. Combine. Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mason jar, along with a handful of ice, then cover and shake until chilled.
  2. Strain and serve. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (coupe glasses are traditional) and serve with a slice of lime, if you would like.

Gimlet Recipe

Gimlet Recipe Variations:

Want to get creative and customize your gimlet recipe? Feel free to…

  • Use vodka instead of gin. If you would like to make a traditional vodka gimlet.
  • Add herbs. Muddle in some fresh basil or rosemary — or briefly simmer fresh herbs in your honey simple syrup — to add some extra fresh herb flavor.
  • Add botanicals. Shake in some extra dried juniper berries, peppercorns, cardamom pods, dried ginger, dried citrus peels, etc for extra flavor.
  • Add cucumber. Muddle in a few slices of fresh cucumber, then strain the cocktail and serve with an extra cucumber slice or two as a garnish.

Gimlet FAQ:

How do you pronounce “gimlet?” It’s pronounced with a hard “g,” like the word “give.”

Where did the name “gimlet” originate? According to Wikipedia, “the name of the cocktail is contested. It may be named after the tool for drilling small holes (alluding to its ‘piercing’ effect on the drinker) or after Surgeon Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette KCB (1857–1943), who is said to have first added lime cordial to the daily gin tot of the men of the Royal Navy to help combat the ravages of scurvy on long voyages.”

What if I want to use Rose’s lime juice cordial? You can just use the same amount of the lime juice cordial as you would fresh lime juice, then omit the simple syrup.

More Favorite Gin Cocktails:

Looking for more classic gin cocktail recipes? Here are a few of my faves…

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Gimlet Cocktail

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 2 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 2 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


My favorite way to make a classic 3-ingredient gimlet cocktail, naturally sweetened with honey instead of simple syrup.  See notes above for possible ingredient variations and add-ins.


  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) gin
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 to 1 ounce (1 to 2 tablespoons) honey simple syrup,* to taste
  • ice
  • lime slices, for garnish


  1. Combine. Combine the gin, lime juice and honey simple syrup in a cocktail shaker or mason jar.  Add in a handful of ice.  Then cover and shake vigorously for 15 seconds, or until the mixture is chilled.
  2. Strain and serve. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve with a slice of lime, if you would like.


To make honey simple syrup: Whisk together 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon very warm water until the honey has completely dissolved.  I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of the honey simple syrup to begin, then give the cocktail a quick taste and mix a second tablespoon if you would like it to be sweeter.

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8 comments on “Gimlet”

  1. A traditional gimlet does not have any sweetener in it.
    The gimlet is a cocktail typically made of 2 parts gin and 1 part lime juice. A 1928 description of the drink was: gin, and a spot of lime. The description in the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel The Long Goodbye stated that “a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.” This is in line with the proportions suggested by The Savoy Cocktail Book, which specifies one half Plymouth Gin and one half Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial. However, modern tastes are less sweet, and generally provide for at least two parts gin to one part of the lime and other non-alcoholic elements.

  2. We do vodka gimlets! Vodka, Rose’s lime juice, and cocktail onions for the garnish. Old school from my parent’s heydays.

  3. I make this all the time, but Not with honey simple syrup. I’ll give it a try. I have a suggestion for you, try it with celery. Simply cut up a half a stalk of celery, add beneath ice, then add ice in your shaker add your 2 to 1 to 1 ratio and if you really want to get fancy add either liquid from garbanzo beans or an egg white. Shake shake shake. Don’t forget the Angostura bitters!

  4. I had one lime left and made it with the honey syrup and some basil. I will definitely make it again!

  5. Just made a Gimlet for the first time and it is delicious! Sipping on it now. I followed the recipe but went a bit overboard on the lime, so I found adding that second tablespoon of honey simple syrup made it perfect. Gracias!

  6. This is the drink I never knew I needed in my life, thank you!

  7. I made this using simple syrup, but in the future, I will try making it with the recommended honey syrup. I loved it! It’s my new favourite cocktail, good thing I have a big bottle of gin?