Happy Hour: Pimp My Gimlet

We know sometimes it can be all hustle and no flow. Rachel Mae Furman is  Create & Cultivate's resident Leisure Expert, and our go-to girl for tips on cocktails, parties, and the art of entertaining. She'll regularly be serving up the best ways to mix and little business with pleasure. It's always Happy Hour somewhere, so we'll drink to that.


Pimp My Gimlet

by Rachel Mae Furman


I love the classic Gimlet for its simplicity, and it’s really easy to add your own twist to it. Whether adding seasonal fruits or herbs, a dash of liqueur or artisanal soda, once you have the base recipe down, you can do a whole lot from there.

Let’s start with the basics: A Gimlet is simply gin (2 oz.), lime (.5 oz.), and simple syrup (.5 oz.). And just like I explain in this article about a citrus cocktail template, as long as you have equal parts lime and simple syrup with about twice as much booze, you’ll start with a balanced cocktail.

So what can we do with our little Gimlet friend to make it more magical?

Master this simple template for a Gin Gimlet, then break rules.

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Infuse the Booze

Regular gin will feel so ordinary once you’ve infused it with fresh blackberries, or even bell peppers. Throw in your farmer’s market finds and suddenly your gin will be the life of your next cocktail party.


Use a Flavored Syrup

A simple syrup is just that: simple. Does the trick, but why not use something more fun? You could use a syrup from small artisanal brand like P&H Soda Co like I did for the cocktail above, or make your own by adding fruits, herbs or spices to the syrup while you’re melting the sugar. (See this article in LA Canvas for more of my recipes using Hibiscus Syrup.)


Top with a Fancy Soda

With the boom of artisanal food and beverage products, there are oodles of handcrafted sodas that would make the perfect top-off for a fresh gimlet. All-natural soda company Joia’s Grapefruit, Chamomile and Cardamom soda would be a delight atop a gin cocktail.


Get Herbal

Whether just a garnish or shaken right in with the cocktail, a sprig of fresh rosemary or sage leaf will add another level of fresh to your drink.


Swap Gins

There are so many small batch “American gins” breaking the boundaries of what defines a gin. The traditional English recipes are tried and true style, but they are no longer the standard. Swap your usual gin for something a little different like a barrel-aged gin or a garden gin


As you see, one simple cocktail has the potential to be so much more, and you definitely don’t have to visit a fancy craft cocktail bar to enjoy it. Master this simple template for a Gin Gimlet, then break rules, and just have fun with it from there.


This post was adapted from Rachel's blog, Smoke & Honey.

Rachel Mae Furman is a self-proclaimed “Leisure Expert" on a quest to elevate moments, create occasions and curate experiences at any given moment. She has spent the last decade traveling the country scouring the back roads and small towns of America for inspiration, then jet-setting from city to city on the corporate dime, building booze brands in the liquor business. Inspired by her Grandmom Doris to be the perfect little hostess, Rachel is known for whipping out a mason jar Old Fashioned from her purse just when you need it. Her blog Smoke & Honey celebrates the art of leisure, from cocktails to entertaining, style to homemaking.