A simple, classic cocktail—just gin (or vodka), lime, and sugar—the gimlet is one of the gems among classic cocktails, with a long history stretching from the high seas to Madison Avenue. Light green, lime-forward, and exquisite when well-balanced, this gin sour is equal parts refreshing and scurvy-preventing—who doesn’t require both?

WHAT’S THE HISTORY OF THE GIMLET?

Like every other classic cocktail, the gimlet comes with a handful of competing origin stories. The most credible is its creation, in the 1880s, at the hands of Royal Navy surgeon Sir Thomas Gimlette, who encouraged his mates to take their gin rations with a healthy dash of scurvy-preventing lime juice. Lauchlin Rose’s lime juice cordial, invented just a decade earlier, helped make that possible, at the same time sweetening the drink and preserving the citrus.

As for its origins, you…

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