A photo of two gimlet cocktails in fancy stem glasses with a lime slice garnish on a rustic table

Gimlets have long been one of my standby cocktails, but I have to admit I never made them with lime cordial. The typical recipe calls for that sugary sweet artifical Rose’s Lime Cordial. I never used that stuff because it seems gross and weird to me. Instead I’ve substituted fresh lime and simple syrup. This does result in a refreshing sour gin cocktail, although not a gimlet precisely.

That deeper, multi-dimensional citrus flavor that one expects in a well-made gimlet can only be achieved with a proper lime cordial.

After reading through some fairly involved recipes, I decided to try out my own method. Instead of blending and straining the limes, I simply made an oleo saccharum and added hot water to create a cordial. The result was stellar and we now have our very own go-to Zutrinken citrus cordial recipe. (instructions below)

A bottle of lime cordial sitting on a table with a plant in the background.

Oleo saccharum sounds pretty fancy, but it just means ‘oil sugar’ and it’s very easy to make. Just peel whatever citrus you desire, muddle it in white sugar for a few minutes and let sit in the fridge for 24 hours. It’s crazy how much oil the sugar extracts from the peels. The flavor is out of this world. It’s rich and limey, but with no hint of sourness.

You can add any liquid you want to dissolve the sugar. I thought about adding lime juice straight into the cordial, but I wanted to have control over the balance of sweet and sour in my gimlet.

I’m really looking forward to modifying this recipe a million times in the future. I can imagine jalepeño pineapple lime cordial, rose water lemon cordial, orange cranberry cordial with cinnamon. There are endless possibilities for every season.

An overhead shot of a gimlet cocktail with a lime slice garnish

Gimlet Recipe



  1. Shake all ingredients fast and hard
  2. Double strain into a fancy cocktail glass
  3. Garnish with a lime slice

Lime Cordial Recipe


  • 6 whole limes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Remove all of the peels from the limes (use a peeler and try to avoid taking the white part underneath)
  2. Dump all the sugar over the peels
  3. Muddle for a few minutes
  4. Store in a covered container in the fridge for 24 hours
  5. Add the hot water and stir until sugar is completely dissolved
  6. Strain out the peels
  7. Store the cordial in a glass container
  8. Chill for a few hours before using
  9. Keeps fresh for up to 3 weeks in the fridge

Other drinks to enjoy