Photo courtesy of Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant
For such a simple drink, the gimlet has a salty history. This classic cocktail was delivered into the annals of mixology by British sailors who stirred together medicinal rations of Rose's lime juice and gin, discovering that it was possible to catch a nice buzz and ward off scurvy in one swing of the boom. The sailors probably didn't enjoy their libation shaken with ice, though, the preferred preparation method today. Author Raymond Chandler probably did, doing for the gimlet what Ian Fleming did for the martini. In the 1953 mystery The Long Goodbye
, a character declares: "A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's lime juice, and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow." Not quite. Since we're fortunate to be moored in a place with an abundance of limes and no threat of scurvy, there's no reason to ruin a gimlet with the cloying flavor of Rose's. Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant has improved upon the original recipe with refreshing results. Their gimlet boasts fresh-squeezed lime juice, a little sugar syrup, and gin shaken with ice. Created in a handsome mahogany bar reminiscent of a dignified gentlemen's club, Joe's version delivers a tart bang that feels as right as Big Ben. A gimlet the way those British sailors could only have dreamed.