It's not often you stumble across a classic cocktail before it becomes a classic. The Ivy Gimlet is the perfect combination of fresh lime juice, fresh mint leaves, and simple syrup in a beautiful glass. This combination yields the perfect cocktail. The Ivy restaurant in both Santa Monica and Beverly Hills is generally considered a posh hangout for the rich and famous. The perfect California decor paired with comfort foods like spaghetti and meatballs. But what makes The Ivy truly special is their take on the gimlet.
What is a Gimlet?
A Gimlet in its simplest form is Gin combined with a mixture of fresh lime juice and simple syrup. The origins of the Gimlet are contentious but the drink itself is generally assumed to have emerged during the late 1920's. The Gimlet is clearly British in origin, likely due to their fondness of Gin cocktails.
The Gimlet Cocktail from a Tool?
The British had a specialty tool, the gimlet that was a tool for drilling small holes. The most likely coincidence is that the drinker, when drinking a gimlet would be easily penetrated by the alcohol, similar to the tool.
The other potential origin is also British. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the British Royal Navy dominated the open ocean. They ruled from the British Isles to Southern Africa and all the way to India. A big problem for sailors was scurvy. Scurvy was a disease associated with low levels of vitamin C. The British cleverly combined their love for gin with a citrus twist.
Unfortunately, the story of the British navy using the drink as a solution for curing scurvy had never been proven. But we here at A Few Cocktails like to believe it.
Origins of the Ivy Gimlet
This soon to be Classic Cocktail began in what is now a quintessential California/Los Angeles restaurant. The Ivy. The Ivy opened in 1983 aiming to incorporate the lush Mediterranean climate with an eloquently decorated restaurant. The Ivy stressed light and airy colors like yellows and blue to complement the natural greens from the lush trees.
The Ivy then expanded their location to Santa Monica with a beautiful location overlooking the ocean. Ivy at the Shore aimed for a more tropical feel. Thus the Ivy Gimlet was born. A somewhat tropical twist on a favorite recipe. They also make incredible food to go along with their drinks.
The Ivy and Ivy at the Shore have become well known celebrity hotspots. On any given day you're likely to see an agent with their A-list clients. While the Ivy is still a legendary spot, in the era of instagram and influencers the pull for old school celebrities has dwindled in favor of the new model.
How to Make an Ivy Gimlet
Ready to make the Ivy Gimlet at home? The Ivy Gimlet like other cocktails requires a simple blend of delicious high quality ingredients. Fresh Lime Juice is a must, and we recommend keeping the lime wedges for garnish. While the traditional gimlet is made with Gin, the Ivy Gimlet recipe uses vodka for their drinks.
2 Ounces Vodka
1 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 Ounce of Simple Syrup
8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
Fresh Lime and Fresh Mint Leaves to Garnish
First combine the Vodka, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup and Fresh Mint leaves into the shaker.
Strain into a wine glass and add lime wedges and mint leaves, serve over crushed ice
Enjoyed the Ivy Gimlet?
Want to learn the history behind classic cocktail recipes? The History of the Moscow Mule will blow your mind!