It remains unlear if a Gimlet was named after a British Admiral ship doctor named Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette or for a tool called a “gimlet” that is used to tap barrels of alcohol aroard 19th-century British navel vessels. What is widely known is that scurvy (caused by a lack of vitamin C) could bring down a ship of sailors and officers quickly.
In 1867, the Merchant Shipping Act was passed requiring every ship to serve lime juice as a daily ration to its crew, this was nicknamed “limeys“. Scottishman, Lauchlan Rose, was quick to patented the world’s first fruit concentrate–the Rose’s Lime Cordial. Eventually, sailors began to mix gin with Rose’s Lime Cordial in a drink that would eventually become a Gimlet.
A traditional Gimlet cocktail is made with gin and lime juice and served up. Gimlets are fantastic simple cocktails if you’ve never had one. My blueberry-basil vodka gimlet is a twist on the old loved classic and I am adoring it these days. Blueberries, often referred to as a the worlds best super-fruit, are considered low-calorie and high in cancer-preventing antioxidants and vitamins. With their slightly sweet-tart taste, the flavor is fruity and refreshing in this blueberry-basil; vodka gimlet recipe.Fresh basil, with it’s very subtle peppery tones combined with blueberries makes a rich aromatic syrup that is only mildly sweet in taste but vastly rich and complex flavor. A little blueberry-basil simple syrup goes a long way and makes this typically straightforward cocktail vastly more interesting.
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- zest from one lemon
- Step 1 In a medium saucepan, add the water, sugar, blueberries and basil. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Next, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes longer, until slightly thickened.
- Step 2 Strain the syrup through a sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard against the sieve to retain all the flavor from the blueberries. Discard any remaining solids and allow the syrup to cool completely before using.
Blueberry-Basil Vodka Gimlet
- 2.5 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce Blueberry-Basil Syrup
- splash of seltzer
- basil leaves, for garnish
- Step 1 Using a shaker, add a good amount of ice. Add the vodka, lime juice, Blueberry-Basil Syrup, shake well.
- Step 2 Pour in a coupe glass. Top with a splash of seltzer. Garnish with blueberries and fresh basil.