Meet your new favorite gin cocktail recipe: the French Gimlet! A chic 3-ingredient drink that combines lime and elderflower with gin to create an elegant and refreshing sip. This sweet, tart, and boozy elderflower gin cocktail will elevate any occasion.
Shake, pour, and toast to simple pleasures. As you take that first sip, you'll understand why classics never go out of style.
I will guide you through how to make this simple and elegant elderflower cocktail with gin with only three ingredients, basic bartending tools, and less than 5 minutes.
If you love the combination of gin and elderflower, try our fresh and fruity Raspberry Lemon Elderflower Gin Cocktail for your next happy hour! And for more drinks with gin, try our aperol gin cocktail with grapefruit.
What is a French Gimlet?
A French gimlet cocktail is a floral twist on a traditional gimlet. The gin gimlet recipe originated in the late 1800s by a surgeon in the Royal Navy. A description of the drink from back then describes it as: "gin, and a spot of lime". It can have a splash of simple syrup as well.
A gimlet is typically a gin cocktail, but it can be made with vodka as well. If you're looking for gimlet variations, replace the gin with vodka to make a vodka gimlet.
To make this cocktail "French" add St Germain, also known as elderflower liqueur, for a touch of floral sweetness.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Refreshing: With its key ingredients being gin and lime, the French Gimlet offers a refreshing and citrusy profile.
Easy to prepare: Crafting a French Gimlet is a breeze. With just a few simple ingredients and a quick shake, you can create a sophisticated cocktail that impresses without the need for fancy mixology skills.
Serve for any occasion: Whether you're hosting a dinner party, enjoying a quiet evening, or celebrating a special moment, the French Gimlet is an ideal drink.
With only 3 components, you probably already have French gimlet ingredients on hand.
Gin: The better the gin, the better the drink. A good quality gin adds depth and character to this cocktail, contributing to its overall flavor complexity.
Elderflower liqueur: The taste of elderflower liqueur is floral, fresh, and sweet. Its delicate and fragrant notes complement the botanicals in the gin while adding a layer of complexity. Gin with elderflower is a delicious cocktail pairing.
St Germain is one of the most famous elderflower liqueurs, but it's on the pricier side. If cost is a concern, use an off brand, such as Drillaud elderflower liqueur.
Lime juice: While testing this recipe, we discovered fresh squeezed limes are best to use in this cocktail.
How to Make a French Gimlet
Making a French gimlet cocktail is as simple as the ingredients in this recipe. Gin and St Germain are a classic combination and make perfect sense in this tart and sweet cocktail recipe.
First, chill your glass in the freezer for a few minutes while mixing this drink. Chilling the glass can make the flavors of the drink more crisp.
Next, fill a cocktail shaker or mixing glass with ice and add gin. Then, add an elderflower liqueur, such as St Germain, to the glass.
Next, cut a lime in half and use a citrus squeezer extract the fresh juice. Add the freshly squeezed lime juice to the cocktail shaker.
Finally, stir or shake the ingredients vigorously for 20 seconds until cold and well combined. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. The best gimlet garnish is a wedge of lime on the rim of the glass.
Serve this French gimlet for happy hour or fancy dinner party. Pro Tip: Make a big batch and pre-mix this elderflower gimlet in a large glass jug before a party. Simply stir and pour when your guests ask for more.
Tips & Tricks
Chill your glassware: Place your glass in the freezer before making this gin and elderflower cocktail. A chilled glass enhances the refreshing experience of the drink.
Quality ingredients matter: Use a high-quality gin and fresh limes when crafting this St Germain French gimlet.
Experiment with gin varieties: Explore different gin brands to discover how their botanicals interact with the lime and elderflower. Some gins may have citrus-forward notes, while others may be more herbal or floral.
Don't forget the garnish: A twist of lime or a thin lime wheel makes for a simple yet elegant garnish. It not only enhances the presentation but also adds a hint of citrus aroma to each sip.
Commonly Asked Questions
What does gin taste like?
The taste of gin can vary from one brand to another, but most people say it has a "pine" or "Christmas tree" flavor. Herbs, such as juniper berries and coriander, along with citrus are used to make gin giving it a botanic flavor.
What's the best gin for French gimlet?
The best gin for any cocktail is one that you enjoy. My personal favorite gin is Beefeater. Since it's the main ingredient of the cocktail, choose a high-quality gin, such as Beefeater, Hendricks, Tanqueray, or The Botanist.
More Cocktail Recipes
- Chocolate Martini with Godiva
- Cold Brew Coffee Martini with Baileys
- Frozen Minute Maid Limeade Margarita
- Sparkling Cranberry Gin Cocktail
If you try this recipe or any recipe from Happy Honey Kitchen, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Enjoy!
French Gimlet Recipe
- 2 ounces Gin
- 1.5 ounces St Germain elderflower liqueur
- 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
- ice cubes
- Fill a cocktail shaker with gin, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and a handful of ice cubes.
- Stir or shake for 20 seconds until cold and well combined.
- Strain drink into a chilled cocktail glass and serve with a garnish of lime wedge.
- Pre-chill your glass in the freezer before crafting this cocktail. A frosty glass elevates the refreshing sensation of the drink.
- While St Germain is renowned for its elderflower liqueur, it comes with a higher price tag. If budget is a consideration, consider opting for a more affordable alternative, like Drillaud elderflower liqueur or another off brand.
- You can substitute vodka for gin.