Gimlets have been discussed elsewhere in this blog. I like a good gimlet, largely because Marlowe and Terry Lennox drink them in Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, in a place called Victor’s bar.
We sat in the corner bar at Victor’s and drank gimlets. “They don’t know how to make them here,” he (Terry Lennox) said. “What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.”
Of course, since Chandler puts the words into the mouth of one his more ambiguous characters, who knows what his actual opinion was? It sounds like way too much Rose’s lime juice. Five or six to one seems about right to me. Vodka instead of gin is just fine too.
In any case, the gimlet, in one way, seems just about the least sophisticated cocktail you could imagine: just two ingredients, one of them a sticky syrup. And yet something, perhaps something alchemical, happens when you put the two things together and create a drink that’s way more than the sum of the parts.
Last week I had a long-standing dinner date with some friends, and I’d booked a table a Morrison, a vaguely Scottish restaurant a few miles up the road in Atwater village. What I hadn’t realized was that this was St. Patrick’s Day, and the Hibernian blood was running high. I never thought about it when I made the reservation.
In fact the place wasn’t quite as much of a zoo as it might have been, and as the above ad shows, they’d been at it for 4 days by the time we got there so maybe they were running out of juice.
I ordered a specialty cocktail, a Morrison gimlet, which started as your standard vodka and lime juice but then they added liquidized cucumber. It was way better than it had any right to. It was of course very bright green. And I did ask the server whether it was always that green, or whether this was some sort of St Patrick’s Day. No, he said it’s always that color. I was glad about that. Here it is on their website.
And now I have made my own. Liquidizing a cucumber is actually a fair amount of messy fun, and the resulting cocktail looked like this:
My version was considerably more cucumbery than the Morrison version, hence the color, and the taste. Well, as they almost certainly don’t say in the land of St, Patrick: the other man’s gimlet is always greener.