An icy gimlet is the perfect cocktail for summer. It’s cold, it’s sweet, it’s refreshing, and looks pretty too.

I had my first gimlet at Trader Vic’s in Beverly Hills. Not only was Trader Vic’s a delightful restaurant, it was also known for its cocktails. It had many fruity, punch-type of cocktails garnished with gardenias and tiki stirrers on its menu, but it could also serve up a perfect classic cocktail like a gimlet.

Los Angeles was definitely a cocktail town when I lived there.

In the novel, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, which was set in 1950s Los Angeles, detective Philip Marlowe states, “A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.”

While I agree the gimlet is tastier than a martini, I prefer the recipe offered by Plymouth Gin. It’s less sweet than Marlowe’s favorite. It’s more balanced in flavor.

According to legend the drink was invented by naval doctor Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette (1857-1943). He is said to have mixed gin with the British Navy’s daily rations of lime “to help the medicine go down,” and to prevent scurvy.

Here’s the recipe:

Gimlet Cocktail

3 parts Plymouth Gin
1 part Rose’s Lime Cordial
lime twist

Fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour in gin and lime cordial. Add some chilled water (optional). Stir well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Plymouth is a nice, clean, smooth gin. You’ll find many classic gin cocktail recipes on its website.

Have you ever tried a gimlet? What are your favorite lime-flavored cocktails?