Cocktail Class #003 | Cocktail of the month January |The Victory Gimlet

Originally published in the January edition of 'One Time Press', the One Time Gin monthly newspaper.

For our very first ‘Cocktail of the Month’ we’ve decided to go with a slight twist of a well-trodden classic cocktail, the Gimlet.

As rich is history as it is in flavour, legend has it that a gentleman named Sir Thomas Gimlette, a Surgeon General who served in the Royal Navy between 1879 and 1913 first thought of the concoction. As a way to combat the ravages of scurvy on board British battleships he suggested the sailors mix some sweetened lime juice with their gin ration, the idea took off and the cocktail was named in his honour.

Simple combinations of ingredients are often the best and the Gimlet is no exception. Originally the recipe called for a 1:1 ratio of gin to lime cordial but as tastes have evolved over time a 2:1 gin to cordial ratio is considered more ‘modern’ on account of the reduced sugar content.

Like VICTORY Gin, the Gimlet has a literary claim to fame having been mentioned in Raymond Chandlers “The Long Goodbye.” He described it as “a real Gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime cordial and nothing else,” the book went on to win the Edgar Award for best novel in 1955. Unlike Chandler’s Gimlet, the VICTORY version we’ve created for you is slightly more exotic.

The cordial you received in your package is a combination of crisp lime, its bittersweet citrus cousin, the grapefruit and the freshest basil we could get our hands on. Making the cocktail is dead easy and we’ve even jotted down the recipe for the cordial for you should you wish to keep a bottle in the fridge.

To make the cocktail:

Combine 50ml of your One Time Gin VICTORY and 25ml of the cordial in a mixing glass. Next, fill the mixing glass with ice and stir for around 30 seconds letting the mixture dilute down and reduce in temperature, stirred cocktails will often get down to around -12 degrees! After stirring, strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. The Gimlet doesn’t demand a garnish but should you feel the need a small twist of lime peel would take it to another level aesthetically.

The cordial takes slightly more work but in comparison to the effort Gimlette’s sailors would have had to go to to produce their ancient scurvy buster, it’s a breeze…


10 limes
1 large pink grapefruit
1 bunch of fresh basil
500g white sugar


1. Using a peeler, remove the peel from the limes and the grapefruit. Try to minimise the white pith taken from the fruit as if this makes its way into the mix it’s going to be bitter.
2. Juice the limes and grapefruit into a container and pass through a sieve.
3. In a large saucepan, combine the fruit juice, the fruit peel, the sugar.
4. Heat until the mixture starts to simmer.

5. Take the pan off of the heat and stir in the basil leaves. Allow mixture to cool to room temp.
6. Strain the mixture to remove all of the non-liquid ingredients and store in a sterilised bottle in the fridge.

Want cocktails in a hurry? Combine your gin and cordial with some water at a 2:1:1 ratio (the water accounts for the dilution that would be gained when stirring with ice) and funnel into a bottle for storage in your freezer. The cocktail will not freeze because of the alcohol content and it’ll chill down to a similar temperature than would be achieved if stirred. Then just pour out into a chilled glass and enjoy!

How did you get on? Share your efforts on social media using the hashtag #OTGcocktailclass


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