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A French gimlet is a sophisticated take on the classic! Three ingredients (St Germain, lime and gin) combine make a refreshing and chic cocktail.

French gimlet

Here’s a sophisticated cocktail that’s refreshing and perfectly tart: the French gimlet! Just three ingredients go into this chic drink, and it’s a fun way to mix up cocktail night. This has become my favorite gimlet (we have 3!) because of warm floral flavor of the elderflower liqueur. If you’re never had St Germain, this is a great drink to start with. Here’s how to make it!

What’s a French gimlet?

A French gimlet is a gin gimlet made with elderflower liqueur! The gimlet is a classic cocktail made of 2 parts gin and 1 part lime juice, often balanced with a little simple syrup. A true 1920’s cocktail, it can be made with gin or vodka. Add a bit of elderflower liqueur to make it French, and ditch the simple syrup. Here’s what’s in a French gimlet:

  • Gin
  • Lime juice
  • St Germain (elderflower liqueur)

Love French style drinks? Try a French 75, also a gin cocktails which swaps in lemon for lime and adds champagne. It’s a favorite bubbly cocktail around here.

French gimlet

Variations on the gimlet

There are a few different ways to make a gimlet! Here are a few more options:

  • Gin Gimlet The classic! It’s bright and botanical from the gin.
  • Vodka Gimlet This one has a more subtle flavor than the gin gimlet. It’s smooth and tangy, a nice variation on the standard.
  • Basil Gimlet A gin gimlet with fresh basil! This version features lime juice, gin, and muddled basil, which gives it a fresh peppery essence.

Use best quality gin in a French gimlet

The French gimlet only has 3 ingredients, so quality is key. The better the gin, the better the drink. The easiest way to tell if a gin is high quality? Don’t buy the cheapest gin on the shelf. Try to invest in a mid-price range gin: the drink will only taste as good as the gin you invest in!

St Germain

All about St Germain

Do you have a bottle of St Germain in your cabinet? It is absolutely worth snagging for this French gimlet: the flavor is irresistible! Here are a few fun facts about St Germain:

  • St Germain is a liqueur made with elderflowers, the small white flowers of an elderberry plant. This flavor is warm and floral.
  • It was invented in 2007. Surprising, right? Doesn’t it look like it has hundreds of years of history? Here’s the story behind inventing it.
  • How do you say St Germain? First off, don’t say “Saint”. It’s actually pronounced “Sahn-jer-MAHN.” However you want to say it to not sound too pretentious with your friends, go for it!
French gimlet

More St Germain cocktails

If you buy a bottle of St Germain to make a French gimlet, what else can you make with it? Because Alex and I are big fans of the stuff, we’ve got a good list going. Here are our favorite cocktails with St Germain:

  • St Germain Champagne Cocktail This elderflower drink features champagne, lemon, and gin. A sophisticated bubbly drink perfect for any occasion!
  • St Germain Vodka Cocktail This St Germain cocktail is very easy to drink. So beware! The flavors are perfectly balanced between sweet, tangy, and floral.
  • St Germain Gin Cocktail This cocktail goes down easy…very easy, in fact! It’s perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, with that signature floral finish as you swallow. It’s very similar to this French gimlet.

When to serve a French gimlet cocktail

The French gimlet is a fancy and sophisticated gin cocktail. It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Fancy dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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French gimlet

French Gimlet

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


A French gimlet is a sophisticated take on the classic! Three ingredients (St Germain, lime and gin) combine make a refreshing and chic cocktail.


  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) St Germain
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lime juice
  • For the garnish: lime wedge


  1. Add gin, lime juice, and St Germain to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a handful of ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain into glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: French gimlet

More gin cocktails

There are lots more great gin cocktails to try with that bottle of gin! Here are some favorites:

  • Best Gin and Tonic What’s a more classic gin cocktail than THE gin and tonic? Its crisp, botanical flavor is straightforward yet intriguing: a feat using only 2 ingredients.
  • Tom Collins Cocktail A nostalgic cocktail that’s about as classic as it gets! This tall highball drink is a gin sour, a sweet and sour drink made with gin and lemon juice. 
  • Gin Fizz Cocktail Perfectly balanced, both sweet and tart! Adding soda water magically creates a frothy egg white foam topping.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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    1. Very nice cocktail – becoming one of my favorites: not too sweet, not bitter, nice herbal notes and lime is certainly refreshing.

      Also – good job Sonja and Alex: whatever ingredients from my bar I Google – somehow I always end up on your site. Whatever you do to impact the search algorithm – you seem to be doing it right.

      1. So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for trying it. And we’re glad you’ve been coming back for more cocktails: it’s our goal to be a go-to resource! Thanks for saying so.