The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess

Gimlet Cocktail

The Gimlet is an old style navy drink most likely invented when sailors in the British navy mixed their ration of gin with lime juice. A 1953 description was: "a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's lime juice and nothing else" (Terry Lennox in Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye). Thus, Robert Hess shows you how to make a gimlet with Hendrick's Gin and Rose's Lime Juice, going against the idea that fresh is always better.


2 oz Hendrick's Gin

3/4 oz Rose's Lime Juice


Shake with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


Benjamin D. 9 Nov 2010
9:30 am


I’m a little reluctant to purchase a product I might only use for a single cocktail (leaving it on the shelf for God only knows how long) and my instinct tells me to use fresh lime. I know you’ve tried the difference and prefer the Rose’s lime juice but is there a way of approximating the flavors with fresh limes, in a sense creating not a tailored sour mix but actually your own lime cordial? Perhaps this would taste fresher…or perhaps I’m just making things too complicated in a quixotic search for a slightly better flavor.

Perry 9 Nov 2010
6:24 pm

One other drink worth having Rose’s on the shelf for is the Ginger Candy cocktail. Also, a bottle is 12 ounces. That’s about 15 Gimlets. While I usually think of these as a summery drink. I think I’ll go use up some of my Rose’s right now.
Disclosure: I have no affiliation with any company that produces or distributes Rose’s Lime Juice. I in no way benefit from increasing its sales.

bwcarroll 9 Nov 2010
6:50 pm

While not historically accurate, a gimlet made with fresh lime juice and rosemary simple syrup is pretty outstanding.

blair frodelius 10 Nov 2010
9:24 am

Here is a link to an interesting article on lime juice:



Nick L. 10 Nov 2010
4:23 pm


Rose’s is pretty inexpensive and you can find it in small bottles so you don’t have to worry about keeping a jug of unused ingredient in your refrigerator.  That being said, I always have some on hand.

I haven’t found any way to approximate the flavor of Rose’s.  Sometimes I make this drink with fresh lime juice and simple syrup, but I suppose it’s more of a Gin Sour rather than a Gimlet at that point.  Still delicious, though, and you might find it suits you better!

blair frodelius 10 Nov 2010
6:15 pm

Another point of interest is that Rose’s has been around for almost 150 years, making it a cocktail ingredient during the golden age of mixology.


Lynn Ballintiner 29 Jan 2011
4:17 pm

WoW, sorry for me to take so long to notice, but doesn’t your shaking this drink violate your general rule about when to stir versus when to mix. I mean if you stir a Manhattan why do you shake a Gimlet???
Society is aghast :-)

Robert Hess 29 Jan 2011
8:46 pm

Lynn, we’re kind of walking a fine line on this one… I am shaking the gimlet because it includes lime juice. Wait, it doesn’t include lime juice, but Rose’s, which should never be confused with lime juice. But in for the shaken/stirred issue I am here… even though Rose’s is “essentially” clear.

So yes, I could have stirred this drink instead. Stirring is rarely the wrong way to mix a drink, but shaking can be.


Jan 30 Aug 2011
6:55 am

Another nice and simple use of Rose’s is in Lager and Lime, also a refreshing summer drink.

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