Gimlets have a fascinating history as one of the earliest prototypical mixed drinks. Legend has it that gimlets were drank on British sailing ships out of necessity. At the time, sailors were given a daily ration of gin. Given the fact that scurvy was a common problem and the gin was of who knows what kind of quality, the sailors naturally watered their swill down with a bit of citrus and sugar. The vitamin C from the citrus kept the scurvy down and the sugar kept the booze down. Two birds; one stone. The drink became popularized in the middle of the 20th century and today it is known as the basic format for many a citrus heavy drinks in modern cocktail cuisine.

I was always taught that a 2:1:1 build ratio is the gold standard for all sour cocktails. That is to say that you use 2 parts spirit, 1 part citrus and 1 part simple syrup. In measurement terms you could also say 2 oz spirit, 1 oz citrus, and 1 oz simple syrup. Try it with most spirits and I promise you will get a great cocktail every time. For me, I like my cocktails a little more on the dry and sour side so I dial back the simple syrup a little bit to let the citrus sing. Gimlets, daiquiris, sours, etc… can all be made with this formula which makes it a great jumping off point for anyone to start experimenting with flavor. For the purposes of this blog, I chose a couple tried and true classics to showcase the power of bitters in a cocktail and to demonstrate just how versatile the gimlet formula is.

The Bennett is a prohibition era cocktail. Given the fact that mixology took a nose dive in the United States after 1920, we can probably assume that this cocktail originated outside of the USA. This was a time when bright, refreshing and bubbly cocktails were in vogue and the Bennett cocktail shares an era of drinking with cocktails such as the Sidecar and French 75.

The Fitzgerald, while strikingly similar to the the Bennett cocktail, is a much more modern creation. It was originally concocted in 1990 by Dale Degroff at a time when cocktail revival was in its infancy. Given the trajectory of Gimlet style cocktails over the last few hundred years, the Fitzgerald fits in beautifully to the family of bright, citrusy, and simple gin potions that elevate the spirit.

Gin Gimlet

2 oz Gin (Hendrick’s is preferred)

1 oz fresh lime juice

.75 oz simple syrup (1:1)

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice

Shake and double strain into a coup

Garnish with a lime wheel

Bennett

2 oz Gin

1 oz fresh lime juice

.75 oz simple syrup (1:1)

2 droppers Aromatic Bitters (Exorcism Bitters)

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice

Shake and double strain into a coup

Garnish with a lime wheel

Fitzgerald

2 oz Gin

1 oz fresh lemon juice

.75 oz simple syrup (1:1)

2 droppers Aromatic Bitters (Wild Hunt Bitters)

Add ingredients to a shaker with ice

Shake and double strain into a coup

Garnish with a lemon wheel

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