homemade lime syrup & a vodka gimlet

Charles and I were late to the Mad Men party. We started watching it a couple of years after it had premiered, and understood almost immediately why people were hooked on it. Thanks to Mad Men, a whole world of glamorous cocktails were opened up to us. I noticed that the women on the show would frequently order a gimlet. I looked up the recipe, and found that they are either made with gin or vodka, and sweetened lime juice. I am not a real fan of gin, so I decided that I would make the vodka version. I also am not a fan of Rose’s sweetened lime juice; I find that it tastes chemically sweet and has that weird electric green color. I set out to create my own version of it. The result is a sweet syrup with a delicate, yet pronounced lime flavor. It is a perfect mixer for a variety of drinks, or you could also use it to make limemade.

homemade rose’s sweetened lime juice


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 4 limes // See my post on Homemade Lemonade for tips on how to extract the most juice from the limes. 


  1. In a small sauce pan, combine the water, sugar, and lime zest. Bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly allowing the sugar to dissolve completely.
  2. Remove from the heat, and let sit until it reaches room temperature. // This allows the lime zest to completely infuse in the sugar water. 
  3. Strain through a mesh strainer to remove the zest.
  4. Add the lime juice.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Most of the gimlet recipes that I came across were just equal parts of sweetened lime juice and gin/vodka. I found this to be way too strong/sweet, so I reduced it slightly and added in a splash of sparkling water.

vodka gimlet


  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz sweetened lime juice
  • sparkling water (optional)
  • lime wedge for garnish

Mix together vodka & sweetened lime juice. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling water, if using. Garnish with a lime wedge and drink.

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