General Discussion

The Gimlet

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The Gimlet

Janet A. Zimmerman | Dec 12, 2002 12:21 PM

A gimlet (gin, of course) is one of my favorite drinks. I've always made them with Rose's Lime Juice, and most every cocktail book I own calls for Rose's. I first started drinking them after reading "The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler, in which Philip Marlowe is introduced to the drink. Although his proportions (half gin and half Rose's) were too heavy on the Rose's for my taste, still that combination is what I've always considered the true gimlet. A couple of bars I've been too, however, make their gimlets with fresh lime juice and sugar or simple syrup. In Leslie Brenner's book The Fourth Star, about Daniel in New York, she mentions that their bartenders make them with fresh juice and implies that they consider them superior to the version with Rose's. Thinking that maybe I was missing something, I tried that method, but found that I actually prefer the ones made with Rose's. And it's not that I don't like fresh lime juice -- it's what I use in most drinks (margaritas, daiquiris, etc.) But not with gimlets. It's not that gin and lime juice is a bad drink; I just don't think of it as a gimlet.

Not that I need validation to drink my drinks the way I prefer them, but now I'm curious about the "original" version. Does anyone know which one came first; the Rose's version or the fresh lime version? If the original was made with fresh juice, was the Rose's version something dreamt up by the maker of Rose's?

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