Notes on The Gimlet
The Gimlet has as hazy a story an origin as any cocktail it seems. Look a bit deeper and you’ll see lots of British Royal Navy mythology mixed with some dashes of truth.
Was the Gimlet so named because the mixture of gin and lime was first prescribed by Naval Surgeon Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette? Or was it so named because the drink was piercing, like the T-shaped tool used to open spirits barrels— a gimlet. Or was it a creation of Laughlin Rose’s, who patented Rose’s Lime Cordial in 1857?
In any event, the Gimlet first appeared in print in the early 1920’s and since then it has been inextricably linked with Rose’s Lime Cordial. Though you could make your own lime cordial, I think that a true gimlet begins and ends with the unusual acidic tang of Rose’s.
In the spirit of the Gimlet’s probable Naval origins, our recommended Gimlet doubles down on the Naval aspect: