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Here's What Kind Of Alcohol You'll Usually Find In A Gimlet Cocktail

Gin gimlet in a martini glass with lime
Gin gimlet in a martini glass with lime - 5PH/Shutterstock

Just going out for a cocktail can have its confusing moments, as some menus are stacked with drink options that feature a list of ingredients longer than your arm. Others give you the name of the beverage without any indication of what it is composed of, leaving you to wonder whether it's going to be straight up or on the rocks, shaken or stirred, and what kind of booze you're actually getting.

Fortunately, some classics are stalwart. You can reliably count on a Manhattan to feature rye, a daiquiri to be made with rum, and a cosmopolitan to be vodka-based. But another mainstay in the cocktail canon may have some wondering what spirit constitutes its base: the gimlet. This dependable tipple is typically a gin-based libation, complemented by a little bit of lime and simple syrup, or lime cordial. Making a gimlet at home is consistently a snap, too — simply shake those ingredients together with ice, strain, and serve.

This simplicity, plus the balance of flavors between the botanicals of the gin, the citrusy brightness, and the touch of sugar from a simple syrup is inarguably delicious, which is what keeps this cocktail on menus many years after its creation.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

The Gimlet Tale

Bottle of gin and limes
Bottle of gin and limes - AtlasStudio/Shutterstock

The story begins on a ship — a Royal British Navy vessel, to be exact. If you can imagine a crew of 19th-century sailors befallen by scurvy (a severe Vitamin C deficiency that can cause everything from chest pain and tooth decay to mood swings), you'll have the less-than-auspicious setting in mind, which were the origins of this delightful drink.

The tale explains that Surgeon Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette was determined to prevent his charges from coming down with this affliction, so he decided to load them up with Vitamin C-rich lime. There were two issues with this plan: first, lime was susceptible to spoiling on the long journey — a problem solved by converting it to a cordial preserved with sugar (resulting in the now-famous Rose's Lime Juice). The second was that allegedly the sailors didn't love the tart taste, and so it was combined with their beloved gin instead, unwittingly creating a well-balanced drink.

Fortunately, scurvy is less of a problem for the modern drinker But still, the next time you're sitting at a classy bar sipping your gimlet from a coupe, rocks, or martini glass, be grateful for the vitamin C infusion, and maybe order another just to be on the safe side.

Making A Gimlet And Its Related Riffs

Strawberry gimlet in coupe with garnish
Strawberry gimlet in coupe with garnish - Maryke Janse Van Rensburg/Getty Images

This drink is as simple as it is classic. While the ratio varies and can range from a simple split of lime cordial and gin to a more spirit-forward formula (and still others have opted for a drier version that centers lime juice rather than the sweetened stuff), the blueprint for the gimlet provides a fun structure with which to experiment. Other fruit flavors like strawberry make a pleasant seasonal spin, while floral takes including elderflower and herbaceous inspirations like basil could enter the scene, too — all of which pair well with the botanical profile of most gins.

Should you choose to stay closer to the original, you can still find ways to personalize your drink. A traditional garnish for the gimlet is a slice of lime, but you can go for cucumber, herbs, or even jalapeño for a complementary kick. If you want to get ambitious, you can even create your own lime cordial with lime juice and peel, sugar, and a bit of citric acid. From there, you can use it for your gimlet purposes, but also play around with margaritas, mojitos, or even mocktails.

And while the standard alcohol choice is gin, that single word denotes an entire category of liquids, with different styles and ingredients from butterfly pea flower to mushrooms to fennel. If you never stray from the original recipe and simply swap the base spirit for different varieties, you can have a lifetime of gin-spiration.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.