How to Make the Perfect Craft Gimlet

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Making the perfect craft gimlet shouldn’t be a challenge.

Photos by James Eastman

I had the recent opportunity to make drinks at a dinner party celebrating the release of Twin Cities Chef’s Table, a fabulous book you should absolutely own if you are reading this article. Each couple prepared a different dish from the book and the host invited the author, Stephanie Meyer, to attend. I found the simple acts of the host “asking” and the author “accepting” the invitation so refreshing in this age of fear and loathing and apathy of those outside our usual circle. Also, the food was incredible—Chef Shack sweet potato tacos? I’ll have three if you don’t mind.

The evening was memorable for so many reasons, it got me thinking—I used to host pretty regular gatherings of like-minded food and drink enthusiasts, but in recent months I let this, that, and the other slide ahead of planning and hosting such events.

What happened? I had been feeling like I was doing a lot of things “ok,” and nothing “well.” I couldn’t commit the time and effort into hosting friends at my table, eating food that was up to my standards. I mean who wants to go to an “ok” dinner party? Who wants to eat “ok” food?

But this party reminded me that the act of getting people together is what matters. And that means everyone—from your closest friends to people you find compelling but might not even know. Invite the people that inspire you to make something you’ve never made before, or who could introduce you to a new idea. Growth and fulfillment doesn’t happen over text and email and Instagram. It happens in person.

So here’s to planning a party, inviting some fun people that are maybe one step removed from your normal circle of friends, and pouring them a proper cocktail upon their arrival. Like this one! The Gimlet—which I enjoy with simple syrup that has been infused with a seasonal herb-of-the-moment. I also use our Cherry Vanilla bitters more as an “ingredient” here. The woodsy cherry bark and aromatic vanilla are an enjoyable contrast to the bright flavors of the gin and lime.


The Gimlet

2 ounces London Dry Gin (Tanqueray)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce Simple Syrup*
½ teaspoon Easy & Oskey Cherry Vanilla Bitters

Method

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with clean ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with additional bitters if desired, and a thin lime wheel.
* Combine equal parts by weight of sugar and water, stir over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from the heat, add a large handful of your favorite fresh herb, and steep at least one hour. Strain out the herb, and reserve simple syrup for up to two weeks.

Note: For a non-alcoholic variation, swap out the gin for 2 ounces of an exceedingly strong batch of Zheng Shan Xiao Smoked black tea from Verdant Tea. I steeped the tea in hot water for three minutes, and had gin drinkers requesting the tea version of the Gimlet at the party.

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