Make Ahead

Minty Orange Gimlet

October 17, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Makes 1 cocktail
Author Notes

On a lazy Sunday, I peeled an orange while listening to the sounds of grass being mowed through the open window. The syrup boiled, and I picked mint from the herb planters in my backyard. As I rinsed the leaves off with the garden hose, I heard my little next door neighbors attempts to woo passing cars with 25-cent cups of lemonade. I muddled mint and orange and added gin, and then I drank this cocktail on my porch in the warm July sun. I drank two more, and then I fell asleep. Sounds just terrible, doesn’t it?

In case you were wondering, orange simple syrup is pretty much how I imagine rays of summer sunlight would taste if you melted them into a glass. Considering the temperature outside is currently 41° F, I could really use the reminder of the cocktail hour that once was. I bet you could too. Syrup recipe comes from Bon Appetit. —Rebecca Firkser

Test Kitchen Notes

Even before I gathered the makings of this cocktail, I knew it would sing to me. It's a snap to put together. I decided to add orange rind slivers in place of zest in the syrup. Vodka, lime, mint, and orange is a marriage made in heaven -- and now in a shaker filled with ice. A glass with smushed oranges and mint, a vigorous twist of the wrist, a splash of soda, and a mint leaf garnish make the perfect sundowner. This drink gets better as you reach the bottom of your glass! —nykavi

What You'll Need
  • Cocktail
  • 1/2 ounce orange simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 ounces shots vodka or gin, more to taste
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/4 orange, sliced
  • 1 sprig mint leaves, to garnish
  • 2 cubes of ice
  • 1 splash seltzer or club soda
  • Orange Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 orange
  1. To make the simple syrup: Using a vegetable peeler to remove large strips, zest the orange. Add zest, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Strain the syrup into a small jar or bowl. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for several weeks.
  2. For the cocktail: Make the orange simple syrup and let it cool completely. In the bottom of a glass, muddle sliced orange and mint. In a cocktail shaker, combine the syrup, lime juice, vodka, and ice. Shake well and pour into the glass with muddled orange and mint and fresh ice. Top with a splash of seltzer.
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  • Rebecca Firkser
    Rebecca Firkser
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3 Reviews

Paula V. November 12, 2014
I made this drink for my friends last weekend and they loved it, including me. It was a big hit. Very refreshing
Tina K. June 29, 2020
did you use orange rind in strips or grated for the syrup - I found the instructions to be unclear
Rebecca F. June 29, 2020
hi! Use a peeler remove the rind in strips. However, as the syrup gets strained, you can use a microplane or any other such tool to zest the orange, it won't make a difference in terms of flavor—removing larger pieces with the peeler is simply faster.