The Gin Gimlet cocktail is one of those classics that have been around forever, and with good reason. The original Gin Gimlet was 2-parts gin to 1-part Rose’s lime juice. Rose’s Lime Juice is lime juice that is preserved with sugar, making it not only sweet but also shelf-stable. This gave the Gin Gimlet a tart and sweet flavor beloved by so many of us and as well as a prominent place in cocktail history.
I have updated the classic Gin Gimlet with the addition of cucumber and rosemary.
When making a Gin Gimlet with a particularly herbaceous gin, the flavors of cucumber, lime, rosemary, and gin all just seem to work together in a way that makes my Cucumber Gin Gimlet a cocktail to go to again and again. For this Gin Gimlet recipe, my gin of choice is Hendrick’s, it was one of my college Professors’ favorites and I guess I just followed her lead when the time to order the next round of Gin Cucumber Martinis. Although decorum would dictate that I firmly reject the notion that I regularly went out drinking with my Professor. Hendrick’s is unusual in that one of its many wonderful flavor profiles is the infusion of rose petals and cucumbers during the distillation process. Which makes the cucumber a perfect garnish for any gin, but particularly excellent with Hendrick’s.
Never Shake Gin Cocktails
Gin has an interesting similarity with red wine and aeration. I’ll use this as an example of why never to shake gin. We are all familiar with the practice of letting red wine ‘breathe’. Decanting red wine, swirling the wine in the glass, and exposing it to oxygen for a short time will soften the flavors. This allows some of the more volatile aromas to escape and release the more pleasant fruit and oak aromas in the wine. However, if allowed to breathe for too long the finer subtle qualities of the wine will not only disappear but eventually, the wine turns to vinegar.
Gin is very similar to red wine in this matter. Shaking gin accelerates the breathing process exponentially.
Gin has a complex mixture of aromas divided into three parts; top notes, middle notes, and base notes. With gin, the most desirable qualities are in the top note. All of the botanicals: juniper, pine, fruit, spice, and floral are top notes. Unfortunately, when gin has been agitated by shaking, the top notes are the first to go. Leaving only the less desirable middle and base notes. Bruising the gin won’t turn it to vinegar, but it will leave the gin dull and lifeless. All of the amazing botanicals that are so desirable lost to the inside of a cocktail shaker.
Here’s my Cucumber Gin Gimlet recipe
Cucumber Gin Gimlet
- 2 Ounces Gin
- 4 Slices Cucumber 1/4-inch thick
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
- 1/2 Lime Juice only
- 1/2-1 Ounce Simple Syrup Adjust to you're desired sweetness
- 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Strip Cucumber
- 1 Slice Lime
- Add cucumber slices, fresh rosemary, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker, muddle well
- Add ice and gin, stir gently for 30 seconds
- Use a vegetable peeler to make long strips of cucumber, wrap the strips on the inside of a tumbler, fill with ice
- Strain the ice-cold Gimlet into the tumbler, enjoy