This Easy Lime Vodka Gimlet is a refreshing classic cocktail with a twist that is so easy to make at home! By replacing the traditional gin with vodka, this drink becomes a perfect tipple for happy hour. It only takes a a few minutes and 4 ingredients to whip up a batch of these tasty vodka gimlets!
Why you'll love this Vodka Gimlet
This recipe calls for fresh lime juice and simple syrup rather than sweetened lime juice because it gives a much more refined and elegant flavor. It takes just minutes to make this classic vodka gimlet recipe, especially if you already have simple syrup. With the perfect balance of spirits, sweet and sour, vodka gimlet cocktails are perfect all year, not just in the summer months.
Origins Of The Gimlet Cocktail
A traditional gimlet, a drink that originated in the 1920's, was made with just gin and Rose's lime cordial, a sweetened lime juice. Though no one quite knows how the classic gin gimlet came to be, it was rumored that the British Royal Navy created it as a way to entice British sailors to consume scurvy-fighting lime juice on long voyages.
No matter where the original recipe came from, it was a simple, refreshing, slightly sweet cocktail that was very popular at the time.
Today's palettes are a little different and gin is one of those spirits that you either love or you hate. Many people prefer the neutral flavor of vodka over the floral and herbaceous flavors of gin, so the vodka gimlet was born!
With just 4 main ingredients in this recipe, this crisp cocktail comes together fast making it the perfect vodka cocktail for a quick weeknight happy hour or a party.
- Simple Syrup - This is a key ingredient in many cocktails and is a staple than any home mixologist should have on hand. Just like the name implies, it is simple to make! All you need is white sugar and water and a couple minutes and you can have a whole batch that is good for not only a great gimlet, but a variety of other cocktails. Store leftover simple syrup in the fridge for up to a month.
- Lime - Fresh lime juice makes all the difference in this recipe. Use the lime juice in the cocktail and the garnish it with a lime wheel or a strip of fresh lime zest because fresh fruit makes every cocktail better. If you're stuck, you can use bottled lime juice but it isn't nearly as fresh and tasty. Or if you swap in fresh lemon juice, you'll have a delicious vodka lemonade.
- Vodka - Vodka is the spirit of choice in this recipe, so use the best vodka you have. I love premium vodka like Grey Goose, Alberta and Absolut but Tito's Vodka is also a great choice. If you can get Absolut lime vodka, this is the best cocktail to use it in. Absolut lime vodka totally enhances the lime flavor of this cocktail.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions + Variations
Check out all the different ways to change up this crowd favorite cocktail!
- Vodka Gimlet Spritz - Serve the lime vodka gimlet in a tall glass and top with a splash of soda water or prosecco to fill. Garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of fresh mint.
- Classic gimlet - Of course, this version is made with vodka, but you can absolutely make a classic gimlet with gin! Use the same formula of 3 parts vodka to one part lime juice and 1 part simple syrup and garnish it with a wedge or slice of lime.
- French gimlet - This version substitutes elderflower liqueur like St. Germain for the vodka making it slightly floral and a little sweeter. A French gimlet is traditionally served in a coupe glass.
- Herb infused- If you like your cocktails to have a little hint of herbal flavor without being quite as herbaceous as gin-based gimlets, try infusing your vodka or simple syrup with fresh herbs. Basil-infused vodka would be perfect in this recipe.
- Cucumber Gimlet - Muddle ½ a cup of cucumber with it's peel and add add 1 cup of simple syrup. Shake it up well and strain. Follow recipe as written with the cucumber simple syrup and garnish with cucumber slices, wheels or spears.
How to make a Vodka Gimlet
This recipe only has 8 steps, but you can also skip steps 1 and 2 if you already have simple syrup on hand.
Step 1. Add equal parts water and sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Step 2. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Pour into an airtight container to store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
Step 3. Squeeze lime juice into rocks glasses. You will need about 1 ounce.
Alternatively, you can mix this up in a shaker and strain into your rocks glass after.
Step 4. If you don't get quite enough fresh juice from your limes, use a hand reamer to extract more juice from the fresh fruit or top it up with a little bottle lime juice.
Step 5. Add the vodka to the glasses.
Step 6. Add the simple syrup.
Step 5. Top with crushed ice and stir well with a cocktail spoon. If you've used a shaker, strain from the cocktail shaker into a chilled coupe or ice filled rocks glass.
Step 6. Garnish with lime slices or a twist of fresh lime zest.
Serve this vodka gimlet cocktail recipe in a rocks glass over ice, or shake it in a cocktail shaker and pour it into a martini glass or a another stemmed glass.
- The best advice I can give for this recipe is to start with cold ingredients (keep your vodka in the freezer) and serve your lime vodka gimlet ice cold. Larger ice cubes will keep your vodka cocktails cold longer.
- Garnish your cocktails. Not only does it make your cocktails more visually appealing, it adds subtle fragrance and freshness too. Zest your lime over the glasses so the citrus oils scent the cocktail or squeeze fresh cut lime wedges over for extra botanical flavor.
- Don't forget to make extra homemade simple syrup. It is perfect for adding a touch of sweetness to any cocktail, a good reason to make a double or triple batch to keep in the fridge for the weekend.
A simple syrup like this with one parts sugar to one part water will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. A simple syrup with a 2-to-1 ratio of sugar to water will keep for up to 6 months.
Traditionally, a gimlet is served in a coupe glass which gives a very Mad Men, Betty Draper sort of vibe that I love. In this case, though, we've opted to serve it over crushed ice in a rocks glass.
According to the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel The Long Goodbye, "a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's lime juice and nothing else." But we're firm believers that you can adjust any recipe to fit your tastes. This cocktail is for the vodka drinkers and has no artificial flavors.
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Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Easy Lime Vodka Gimlet-A Classic Recipe With A Twist
- 6 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoon water
Lime Vodka Gimlet Cocktail
- 6 ounces vodka lime vodka if you have it is wonderful
- 2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounce simple syrup
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 4 fresh lime slices
- Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Lime Vodka Gimlet Cocktail
- To a cocktail shaker or rocks glass, add 6 oz vodka, 2 oz fresh lime juice, and 3 oz of simple syrup.
- Top rocks glasses with ice or strain from the cocktail shaker into ice-filled rocks glasses or chilled coupes. Garnish with lime twists or fresh lime wheels and serve.