Thursday, September 15, 2011

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The California Gimlet

We drink gin year-round at the Whiskey Forge, but — to my taste, anyway — warm weather has always been a better fit for really gin-forward drinks. In fact, the hotter it is, the more gin seems to temper the heat. In the height of summer, for instance, a bracing gin & tonic shines. Recently, we have become enamored of the California gimlet, a simple, three-ingredient drink we picked up from Dale DeGroff’s book The Essential Cocktail.

A gimlet is classically made with bottled lime cordial such as Rose’s or Angostura. Swapping out fresh lime juice for the bottled cordial yields very a different, nearly daiquiri-like, cocktail.

We have made these with Beefeater, Beefeater 24, Hendrick’s, and Beefeater Summer Edition gins. In fact, we killed all of the bottles except for the 24 making this particular cocktail. What can I say? We like Beefeater. Each gin, however, made a delicious drink and I look forward to wrapping up the summer with more of these.
California Gimlet

2 oz gin
¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
Lime wheel, for garnish

Combine the gin, lime juice, and syrup in a mixing glass with ice and shake well. Strain into a small cocktail glass or serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass, garnished with the lime wheel.
I include the lime wheel garnish from DeGroff’s original recipe but, as those who drink with me know full well, there are about 5,197 things I care more about than cocktail garnishes at home. He also suggests that a dash of Rose’s lime cordial may “remind the drinker whence their [sic] potation came.” Your call. The drink’s just fine without it.

DeGroff, Dale (2008)
The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks
272 (hardback)
Clarkson Potter
ISBN: 0307405737


Anonymous said...

One of my favorites. Muddling basil into it makes what I think of as the quintessential San Francisco cocktail, as well as a lovely green color.

Matthew Rowley said...

Wow ~ I missed your note from September of last damn year. Mea culpa, Drinksnob. You are exactly right; in fact, I just planted five plugs of basil in our back yard in hopes that they'll grow into a little hedge — pesto, insalata Caprese, and drinks like this one are on the menu.