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All about the vodka gimlet and Rose's lime juice


Ellen Shapiro
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Not that I drink all that much, but when I do hit the sauce my cocktail of choice is the vodka gimlet. I have therefore over time developed an interest in the constituent products of this beverage/libation: vodka and lime juice.

Any opinions out there from more experienced cocktailers than I, regarding the choice of vodka or the variety of lime juice?

As a tangent, has anybody noticed that Rose's lime juice comes in two configurations, one of which is marked for liquor store sale only? It seems to have alcohol in it. Does it perform differently?

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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Ah, summer after 2nd year....You gotta have a shaker to make a proper gimlet, and vodka is indeed my choice over gin (even though the original). Laziness though does allow you to mix 1 part Rose's Lime Juice with 3 part's vodka and ice using a spoon.

My parents call them "silver bullets."

I wasn't aware there were 2 different Rose Lime's Juice, though it has been a damn long time since I had one.

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Oh my goodness Ellen vodka gimlets are what I drink, very nearly exclusively, when in New Orleans. Why o why don't I put aside these Rusty Nails that I've been imbibing recently and naughtily have a gimlet at home? I associate them strongly with heavy humidity, and getting the last order in a takeaway plastic cup.

And now I'm going to be up all night contemplating the Conspiracy Theory behind the two different Rose's Lime juices.

Priscilla

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I'll leave aside the point that a true gimlet is made with gin :cool: and just concentrate on the lime juice.

It's long been my contention that a gimlet is made with Rose's, and only Rose's, but I've been to some high end restaurants (and read about others) that feature gimlets made with fresh lime juice and simple syrup, with the implied reason that fresh lime is "better" than Rose's. I'm not sure where that idea arose, but I think it's a perfect example of over-refinement. I've never seen a gimlet recipe in a cocktail book (and I have more than a few) that calls for fresh lime instead of the Rose's, although a squeeze of fresh lime is a welcome addition.

Besides, if Rose's is good enough for Philip Marlowe, it's good enough for me.

PS: Ellen, what's this about two versions of Rose's? Is one a premixed gimlet that contains alcohol? If not, what's the reason it can be sold in liquor stores only? Granted, liquor sales in California are decidedly more liberal than in New York, but I've never seen or heard of two versions of Rose's.

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I'll leave aside the point that a true gimlet is made with gin  :cool: and just concentrate on the lime juice.

Good point -- same with martinis.

One trouble with fresh lime juice -- aside from the fact that it just never tastes "right" -- is that it tends to cloud the drink. There are few things more bizarrly compelling than an icy gimlet, served up, casting its eerily transparent green glow atop the bar. It's like something from a science fiction movie, although after three or four you're looking more at tragedy or farce.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I bet that Velvet Falernum would make an interesting variety of gimlet.

That's a great idea. Is it available yet?

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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It's long been my contention that a gimlet is made with Rose's, and only Rose's, but I've been to some high end restaurants (and read about others) that feature gimlets made with fresh lime juice and simple syrup, with the implied reason that fresh lime is "better" than Rose's.

It would be interesting to do a side-to-side taste test to see what the difference is. I am reminded of Mojitos I've had that were RUINED because the bartender used Rose's Lime Juice (rather than lime and simple syrup). What is it about Rose's? A chemical taste?

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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It's long been my contention that a gimlet is made with Rose's, and only Rose's, but I've been to some high end restaurants (and read about others) that feature gimlets made with fresh lime juice and simple syrup, with the implied reason that fresh lime is "better" than Rose's.

It would be interesting to do a side-to-side taste test to see what the difference is. I am reminded of Mojitos I've had that were RUINED because the bartender used Rose's Lime Juice (rather than lime and simple syrup). What is it about Rose's? A chemical taste?

Let me add that in almost all cases, I think fresh citrus juice is essential to cocktails. A mojito made with Rose's would be completely unbalanced. A daiquiri made with Rose's would be a rum Gimlet rather than a daiquiri. On the other hand, a gimlet made with fresh lime juice and simple syrup would be something else -- a gin daiquiri, perhaps. Not a bad drink, but not a gimlet.

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Would fresh lime juice work the same way in this drink? 

Ben

No way. It would be a different drink altogether. But I bet it would taste great though.

The Matchbox in Chicago does a gimlet with fresh lime juice and a powdered sugar rim...but I still prefer faux lime juice for my gimlets and fresh for my caiparinhas (sp?).

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Gotta agree with JAZ that the true gimlet can only be made with gin, ditto the martini. But re the lime juice, I believe there is a happy medium. Casting the aesthetics of the drink aside, I believe a truly delicious gimlet involves a dash or two of Rose's, along with a good squeeze of lime (why else would a lime segment be involved as a garnish) Squeezing in a section of lime before shaking also ensures that the essential oils in the skin of the lime infuse into the drink, cutting the sharpness of the fresh lime juice. As I sit here and enjoy one as we speak, I think the cloudy pulpiness that the fresh lime imparts only adds to the mystique of a truly refreshing summer drink...

Edited by coolhandluke (log)

Bacon tastes good, porkchops taste good...

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Coolhandluke....you just described my ideal gimlet! As a confirmed vodka gimlet drinker, I always ask for fresh lime juice. This is to protect myself against the many bartenders who put in way too much Rose's...a splash would be fine but in the last few years I have been getting GREEN gimlets. I'd rather they put in no sweetener, than have a sickly sweet drink. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Strangely, while I always drink them out, I have never made a gimlet at home.

Lobster.

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Re: the two versions of Rose's Lime Juice - I wonder if it has anything to do with bizarro liquor laws. For instance, back when I lived in Oklahoma (home to some of the strangest liquor laws in the U.S.), any malt-based beverage with an alcohol content of over 3.2%, and all non-malt beverages with any level of alcohol could only be sold at a liquor store (i.e. not in the supermarket, convenience store, etc.). And any product distributed or sold in a liquor store had to have some alcohol content. So if a producer wanted to engage in smart merchandising (e.g. have a mixer share shelf space with hard liquor), they had to put some (usually small) level of alcohol in the mixer.

That was nearly 12 years ago, though, so the OK liquor laws may have changed. At least they're not BYOB anymore. :blink:

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Would you believe Rose's is made by Mott's?

Don't think that it is made by Mott's. I checked out the www and think that they may distribute it but it is a Cadbury Schwepps product.

(Is Mott's owned by CadbSchw?)

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I was just thinking about the two varieties of Roses myself... To further explain the differences between the two products, the boozy one (about 3% or so, if I recall correctly) is marked "Roses Lime Cordial" while the supermarket one is marked "Roses Lime Juice". Have never done a side-by-side tasting, but have been building a curiousity about the difference.

Everybody-- look in your fridge/liquor cabinet and report on whether you're using cordial or juice...

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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  • 3 months later...
Vodka is the only way to go in a gimlet, preferably Stoli!  Recently attended a conference in Orlando and the resort had a wonderful martini bar that used fresh lime juice, fantastic green color and taste....don't forget the olives-3!

Olives in a gimlet? :wacko: I think it would need to be renamed...

Gin gimlet, an excellent drink, and one of the few things I can order in almost any bar. (I love Roses, so a heavy hand on the pour, while not my preference, is still okay, and is easily offset by a few extra lime wedges.)

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