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Throwback Drink of the Past: Ivy Gimlet

A vodka gimlet is a delightful cocktail with a rich history dating back to the 19th century. One of the most unique variations of this classic cocktail is the Ivy Gimlet, created by the Ivy Restaurant in Los Angeles. This cocktail blends mint and lime to harmonize sweet and sour flavors perfectly. The original gimlet typically includes gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, but some prefer using Rose's Lime Juice for a refreshing, bitter note.

In 2003, when I first made my way to Los Angeles, I was repeatedly encouraged by acquaintances to make a visit to The Ivy and indulge in their renowned Ivy Gimlet. This establishment on Robertson Boulevard not only boasts a reputation for its delectable cuisine, but also stands out as a favorite spot for celebrities.

The TMZ tour even includes a stop at this locale to potentially catch a glimpse of A-listers. Among their offerings, the ice-cold Ivy Gimlet truly stands out as one of the most delightful cocktails I've experienced in the entire city.


The gimlet's origins are steeped in history, tracing back to the British Royal Navy's efforts to combat scurvy. They added gin to their rations of lemons and limes, inadvertently creating this iconic cocktail. In the 20th century, vodka gimlets gained popularity as vodka became more widely consumed.

The choice between gin and vodka in gimlets is a subject of debate among bartenders. Some prefer the traditional gin, while others argue that vodka can produce equally delicious results.

To make a vodka gimlet, you'll need vodka, fresh lime juice, mint  and simple syrup. Combine these ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and then strain the mixture into a glass. Because gin's botanicals are prominent in the traditional gimlet, choosing a good-quality vodka for the best flavor is important. I recommend using the same measure of vodka as you would gin to maintain the cocktail's balance and integrity.


2 oz (60 ml) vodka


1 oz (30 ml) fresh lime juice


3/4 oz (22 ml) simple syrup


8–10 mint leaves


Lime wheels, lime wedge, & mint sprig to garnish


First, gather all the necessary ingredients to whip up a delicious Ivy Gimlet.

Next, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the ingredients. Shake the contents vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds until the shaker is frosted outside.

Now, double-strain the mixture into a wine glass filled with lime wheels, mint leaves, and crushed or pebble ice.

Finally, enhance the drink's presentation by garnishing it with a mint sprig and lime wedge.

Enjoy your refreshing Ivy Gimlet!

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