French Gimlet

Made with just three ingredients, this slightly sweet French gimlet is elegant yet simple. It’s a great way to showcase the complex flavors of gin and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Garnish with a lime twist and serve in a coupe glass.

A gimlet in a coupe glass with a twist of lime.

Why we love this french gimlet

  • 3 ingredients. This cocktail is made with only three ingredients, and they all work together to create a beautiful mix of flavors.
  • Easy to make. There’s basically only one step involved. You don’t need to make simple syrup. Just juice a lime and shake it up.
An elderflower cocktail in a glass with a twist.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

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Equipment

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Gin – Traditionally, gimlets are made with gin, but it can easily be swapped for vodka if you prefer a vodka gimlet.
  • St. Germain – This is an elderflower liqueur produced in France (hence the “French” part of this recipe name). If you can’t find it, or don’t want to splurge on a bottle, you can substitute another brand of elderflower liqueur.
  • Lime juice – You could definitely swap lemon for lime, but I really like the sweetness of lime and it’s traditional in a gimlet.
Close up of a gimlet in a coupe glass garnished with a lime twist.

How to make a French gimlet

Shake your drink. Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover and shake until your cocktail gets nice and cold. This usually takes about 30 seconds or so.

Garnish and serve. Strain your gimlet into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime twist before serving.

Side note: We serve this gimlet straight up, but you can serve it on the rocks if you want. It’s totally your call.

A french gimlet in a coupe glass with a twist of lime.

Everything you need to know about gimlets

What are gimlets made of?

A basic gimlet will simply be made with gin, simple syrup and lime juice (or sweetened lime cordial). This french gimlet uses St-Germain to replace the simple syrup, which adds a bit of sweetness and some subtle hints of pear and honeysuckle.

What is the difference between a gimlet and a Tom Collins?

While a gimlet is made with lime juice, a Tom Collins uses lemon juice and adds club soda. Another difference is how the drinks are served, a Tom Collins is shaken and served over ice but a gimlet is usually served straight up (shaken and served without ice).

Should a gimlet be shaken or stirred?

As with most cocktails containing a citrus juice, this cocktail should be shaken. The gimlet should also be strained and served without ice, since the melting ice would dilute the drink.

What type of alcohol is St-Germain?

St-Germain is an elderflower liqueur made in France. It adds the subtle flavors of honeysuckle and pear to a cocktail, along with a fresh sweetness.

An elderflower cocktail garnished with a twist of lime.

More gin cocktails you will love

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Overhead shot of a french gimlet with a bottle of st-germain and a bowl of limes next to it.
Print

French Gimlet

This slightly sweet French gimlet is elegant yet simple, and a great way to showcase the complex flavors of gin and St. Germain elderflower liqueur.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Gin
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 oz gin

  • 1 ½ oz St. Germain

  • ½ oz lime juice

  • For garnish: lime twist or wheel

Instructions

  1. Combine gin, St. Germain, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until cold.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime twist.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 294
  • Sugar: 18.1 g
  • Sodium: 3.1 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: french gimlet, french gimlet recipe, elderflower gimlet, gimlet recipe, st germain cocktail

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