The Savoy Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

The Savoy Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

The Savoy Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

One of our bedrock beliefs is that a cocktail does not have to be high-proof to be serious, sophisticated, and delicious. In an effort to steer lower octane drinkers toward satisfying drinks, last week we proposed a system for substituting base spirits with fortified wines, lower in alcohol by volume but giving nothing in complexity.

We’ve been putting our suggestions through some test drives, and in general we’ve been pleased with the results. The drinks don’t always taste exactly like their more spirited originals, but they do taste good–at less than half the alcohol. We’ve noticed that while often a straight substitution works, sometimes small adjustments are necessary.

We found this to be the case with the gimlet, for instance. The gimlet calls for an uncharacteristically large amount of lime. The standard gin can stand up to that amount of citrus, but in the usual proportions it overwhelms the softer and more delicate dry vermouth substitution. Cut the lime in half, though, and you have yourself a delicious, refreshing, low alcohol success.


  • 2 1/2 oz dry vermouth–we like Dolin.
  • 1/4 oz sugar
  • 1/4 oz lime juice


  • Combine the sugar and lime juice and stir vigorously. Or if you know ahead of time you’re going to want this drink, simply let the mixture sit for a few hours. Voila: one way or the other, you’ve just made a sweetened lime juice far superior and far more economical than Rose’s Lime.
  • Add the sweetened lime juice and vermouth to a shaker with ice.
  • Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass.

Roberts & June