Originally a gin-based drink with lime juice, the Gimlet has gained much more favor with the vodka crowd. Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye is instructed that a Gimlet could only be made with Rose’s lime juice. Although bartenders almost unanimously use Rose’s, the original gin Gimlet is vying with vodka to such a degree that you would be advised to specify which spirit you want. According to The Dictionary of Eponyms, British Navy Doctor T.O. Gimlette prescribed the drink as a medicinal tonic and as a dilution to gin, which he believed clouded the minds of the recruits when sipped neat.
Whether you serve your Gimlet neat or over ice, always shake the ingredients with plenty of ice first. Don’t substitute fresh lime juice for preserved lime juice—-doing so, with the addition of sugar, will produce a Gin Rickey.