Raspberry gin cocktail – summer in a glass – Raspberry Gimlet.
I love the combination of alcohol and lime juice. Adding raspberries, for me, creates a light and summery drink and a raspberry gimlet is the perfect combination of flavours for me when I’m looking for a light aperitif. While I enjoy raspberries, I don’t like overly sweet cocktails, but this particular raspberry gin cocktail benefits from the acidity and fresh citrus notes of the lime juice. I love a classic Gimlet too and am fascinated by the history of this particular cocktail.
You would hardly expect the origin of one of our favourite cocktails to be from the days when scurvy was rife on long voyages. But, in the case of the gimlet, that’s exactly how the drink originated. Even before the invention of Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial, the gimlet was the Navy’s solution to a problem caused by lack of vitamin C on long journeys. It is claimed that Surgeon Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette first suggested adding lime juice to the daily gin tot for the men of the Royal Navy as a way to help prevent scurvy, but actually lime or lemon juice had been added to the daily rum or gin (for officers only) in the preceding years. In 1867 Parliament mandated “lime or lemon juice and other anti-scorbutics to be provided and kept on board certain ships” and Gimlette came up with the idea of mixing Navy strength gin with Rose’s Lime Cordial. Another theory is that the name comes from a tool for drilling small holes – it is a sharp and piercing drink.
Modern tastes are less sweet and many mixologists have now reverted to using fresh lime juice. And, Navy strength gin is not widely available so a classic Gimlet is generally 2 parts gin to 1 part lime juice rather than the original 50/50 ratio of alcohol to lime juice. Adding raspberries into the mix challenges the balance of alcohol to juice so Pinkster Royale provides an easy way to introduce raspberries and, I’ve snuck in a teaspoon of Pinkster Gin Jam, though if I had any fresh raspberries I might not have done so. The end result is beautifully refreshing, light and tangy raspberry gin cocktail – and I only missed the fresh raspberries as a garnish!
Raspberry Gimlet is a light, refreshing raspberry gin cocktail that you can easily make at home
- 2 Lime to yield around 15 ml lime juice
- 30 ml London Dry Gin
- 30 ml Pinkster Royale
- 15 ml Simple Syrup
- 1 tsp Raspberry Jam ideally raspberry gin jam
Cut the limes in half and reserve 1 slice as a garnish. Squeeze the lime juice into a jug
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
Add all the ingredients and shake well
Strain carefully into a coupe glass, if necessary double straining through muslin to remove all the morsels of jam
Serve garnished with a slice of lime
I’ve used Pinkster Royale to make this raspberry gin cocktail. It’s a delicious liqueur that’s made with gin but without any additional sugar and so can be added to a classic gin-based cocktail without worrying too much that the flavours will be compromised. Made from the raspberries leftover from creating Pinkster gin, it’s an alcoholic cordial and at 24% ABV, you can sip it on its own or over ice. But it’s even more delicious when made up into a raspberry gin cocktail like this one. You could also use a sweet raspberry liqueur such Chambord, but you’ll need to reduce or omit the simple syrup completely depending on how sweet a cocktail you like.
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