Unfortunately, to say there is a definitive recipe for most cocktails would be inaccurate. In 2009, I wrote about gimlets according to Julie Powell from Julia and Julia which are made with vodka. I worked with the recipes and came down strongly on the side of gin. Philip Marlowe has a gimlet recipe from one of his classic novels of the 1950’s. I have a high respect for all writers in the golden age of mystery, as both writers and legendary drinkers. When I was reading How to Drink by Victoria Moore and stumbled on a Marlow gimlet recipe, I reached for my shaker to make Marlowe’s version as I turned the page.

This is a gimlet according to Marlowe from The Long Goodbye.

Philip Marlowe’s Gimlet

1.5 oz Gin

1.5 oz Rose’s Lime Juice

Shake well with ice and strain into a martini glass.


If you really want a literary cocktail, use the recipe from Julie and Julia, although I strongly recommend using gin instead of vodka. The gin compliments Rose’s really well with its aromatics. As more of an alcoholic neutral, vodka is overpowered by Rose’s Lime Juice. In this drink, the gin is overpowered by Rose’s as well, because there’s too much of it.

I have to assume that the reason Marlowe wants us to use so much Rose’s Lime Juice, is because he was drinking bathtub gin which caused people to go blind.

Marlowe, you might have been a great writer. You may have been a great drinker. But you’re not such a great bartender.


Cost from Scratch:

1 750 mL bottle of gin: $12

1 12 oz bottle of Rose’s Lime Juice: $4

Total Cost: $16

Cost per glass:

Gin: $0.72

Rose’s Lime Juice: $0.50

Total Cost per glass: $1.12

As always, happy and safe drinking.