Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fend Off Scurvy (and Sobriety) with the Classic Gimlet

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 10:57 AM

click to enlarge Cool, refreshing, and bold. - MEGATROND/FLICKR
  • Megatrond/Flickr
  • Cool, refreshing, and bold.
Midway through Raymond Chandler's magnum opus The Long Goodbye, erudite narrator-gumshoe Philip Marlowe samples his very first gimlet. "With the lime juice it had a sort of pale greenish yellowish misty look," he says of this restorative elixir, "[and] was both sweet and sharp at the same time."

Cool and refreshing yet bold and eminently satisfying, the gimlet is one summertime drink that's ridiculously easy to prepare. Once you decide how strong you want it, that is. "A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else," said Marlowe's quicksilver drinking buddy Terry Lennox, but the result is a bit too sweet for today's dry-martini palates. Other recipes favor fresh lime juice and simple syrup instead of the bottled stuff, but the wonderfully silky quality of Rose's is one of the cocktail's intrinsic pleasures. Opt for three or four parts gin (depending on your taste) to one part Rose's, shaken a good long time with plenty of ice, strained into a chilled martini glass and garnished with a wedge of lime.

Some of the city's finest saloons have tarted up this pure and simple concoction with grapefruit rinds, fresh basil, and elderflower f'chrissake, but the only variation we soundly approve of is the tequila gimlet, a dreamy marriage of longtime sweethearts agave and lime. (Don't get us started on the pallid, juniper-free vodka gimlet.) Make your first toast to Sir Thomas Gimlette, the 19th century British Navy surgeon who made his sailors' daily anti-scurvy ration of lime juice more palatable by spiking it with gin. Yum.

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

Matthew Stafford


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"