I'm quite excited that Nautical Gin asked me to be part of their Gimlet recipe contest! They've asked several bloggers from across the northeast to use Nautical Gin in an original Gimlet recipe. I'm always thrilled to try new spirits - particularly gin! - and experimenting with new cocktails is pretty much my favorite thing.
Nautical gin is a brand-new American gin made in Nashua, New Hampshire. It's made with some really unique botanicals, including Pacific kombu, a seaweed that gives it subtle flavors of sea salt and minerals - thus the name. The resulting gin is smooth, aromatic, and really great in cocktails. The gin is sold in a lovely seaglass-blue bottle with the motto "Inspired by Exploration."
Nautical challenged us to come up with a spin on the Gimlet. This is definitely one of my favorite classic cocktails. In its original form, it's incredibly simple - just gin and sweetened lime juice.* It's a perfect cocktail for showcasing the unique qualities of a gin, and it's also simple enough that it's fun and easy to experiment with.
I've made one riff on a gimlet in the past, a Cucumber Basil Gimlet, which was pretty great - cucumber is perfection with gin and lime. So I decided to do a different cucumber-based spin this time, muddling in some fresh cilantro to bring out the coriander flavors and topping the cocktail with a bit of black pepper to enhance the flavor and compliment the pepper notes in the gin. If this sounds a bizarre to you, don't knock it till you've tried it - it's a great flavor enhancer and really gives this cocktail a little something special.
Keeping with the nautical theme, I call this a Mediterranean Gimlet. I think it tastes like something you'd sip on the shores of a Greek isle. But Cape Cod or Boston Harbor will work in a pinch!
If you like this recipe, please give it some love on the Nautical Gin Instagram and Facebook pages when it appears! And keep an eye on their feeds to see more Gimlet recipes crafted for the contest by other local bloggers. Cheers!
*Technically the original Gimlet was made with Rose's Lime Cordial, but if you've ever had Rose's you know that it's basically high-fructose corn syrup dyed green. Luckily some brands are now coming out with real lime cordials, like this one from El Guapo. A lime cordial is usually made by allowing sugar, lime juice, and lime peels to sit overnight or for several days. The peels introduce lots of additional oils and flavor. I've always been perfectly happy just using lime juice and simple syrup instead, but if you want to get technical, it's the cordial that makes a Gimlet - otherwise you're just making a gin sour.
But we don't want to get technical. Let's have a drink.
Mediterranean Gimlet2 oz. gin (Nautical recommended)
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
4 slices cucumber
Handful of cilantro leaves
2 grinds of black pepper
Combine cucumber, cilantro and simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker and muddle well, until cilantro is bruised and cucumbers have released their juices. Add gin and lime juice. Fill shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Fine-strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a couple of grinds of black pepper.