Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: the Gimlet

English sailors, you say?

Staving off boredom, huh?

Getting off to a good start!

This colorful introduction to the Gimlet comes from the 1999 book "Vintage Cocktails: Authentic Recipes and Illustrations from 1920-1960"

And, no doubt about it, the Gimlet is an authentic old drink. So old that you'd probably struggle to remember the last time you ever saw anyone drinking one. Probably never, huh? Us too.

So, what is a Gimlet? Going back to "cocktails 101," here's the instructions from "Cocktails for Dummies" (circa "timeless"):

See? They even show you what kind of glass to use! To boot, they give you choices for your glassware.
But, not so fast. There is actually a diversity of opinion about the ingredients for a Gimlet. This is from a 1979 edition of Old Mr. Boston's:
(Maybe a cousin to those English sailors from before, there) So, two variations are arising: one is the age-old vodka vs. gin battle. The other, and more significant, one is whether or not there's a sweetener. Rose's Lime Juice (which we saw in the first recipe, too) is a proprietary syrup you've probably seen in grocery stores. There may or may not be actual lime juice in it, but it's certainly sweet.

Consider this version from a 1961 edition of Old Mr. Boston's:
In this earlier version, we find sugar -- also throwing in the curve ball of carbonated water. A little bit of sparkle!
So, the Gimlet is the kind of drink you can hang around casually with -- say, as you would with a gin & tonic -- or you can get dolled up with for a nicer occasion.
If that kind of sophistication and pedigree isn't really your thing, you can dismiss the Gimlet as the "granny drink" you might have thought of it as all along:

From "You Are What You Drink" (1974).
Note: doesn't say they aren't having fun!

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