LIVING LARGE WITH

GIMLETS, KAMIKAZES AND LEMON DROPS

The popular revival of the Gimlet is a clear sign that we’re evolving as a species. No drink in all of mixology has given rise to as many popular variations of its theme than the classic Gimlet. Yet, as with most things, the original is still unsurpassed.

The Gimlet is the combination of gin, vodka, light rum or silver tequila mixed with several splashes of Finest Call Lime Juice and served chilled in a cocktail glass. Squeeze in the juice from a lime wedge and you’ve made one of the bona fide classic cocktails.

In the late ‘70s the Vodka Gimlet morphed into the KAMIKAZE, an ultra popular cocktail made with vodka, Finest Call Lime Juice and a shot of triple sec. Even now in its fourth decade, a chilled Kamikaze is a “can’t miss” proposition.

The other classic cocktail from the 20th century is the Lemon Drop, an exceptionally light and refreshingly tart cocktail. It’s made with citrus-infused vodka, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. The Lemon Drop is nearly as universally appealing as lemonade. There’s something especially tantalizing about a cocktail that can deftly deliver so much lip-smacking, mouth-puckering flavor and do it with class. —RP


GIMLETS, KAMIKAZES AND LEMON DROPS AT A GLANCE

• DIFFICULTY OF PREPARATION: 4.6 OUT OF 10 — The little preparation involved in making Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops is neither difficult nor time-consuming. The traditional method is handshaking these drinks with ice and serving them straight in chilled cocktail glasses. The other approach is to serve the drink on the rocks, in which case the ingredients are hand-shaken and strained it into iced tumbler. That’s it.

[Scale 1– 10: A drink with a value of 5.0 or lower means it can easily be prepared in one’s sleep, while a rating closer to 10 indicates that it takes several days to prepare and requires an advanced degree.]


• UP-SELLING POTENTIAL: 8.7 OUT OF 10 — Today most consumers understand that ordering a Gimlet, Kamikaze or Lemon Drop with premium spirits yields better results than using less expensive, lower quality brands. That awareness makes recommending guests choose a top-shelf brand for these drinks relatively easy.

[Scale 1– 10: A drink with an up-selling potential of 5.0 or higher means it’s a financial thoroughbred, a cocktail tailor-made for top-shelf spirits. A rating below 5 signifies a drink in which the brand of spirits used are of secondary importance compared to the overall effect looking to be achieved.]


• ALCOHOL POTENCY: A Gimlet, Kamikaze or Lemon Drop served straight up is more potent than one served on the rocks. While shaking any of these drinks with ice will add some water into the mix, the resulting cocktail is still potent—approximately 3 parts alcohol to 1 part mix (3:1).  When served on the rocks, the ratio changes to a slightly less potent 2-parts alcohol to 1-part mix (2:1).

[As a general rule, 1 1/4-ounces of distilled spirits is equal in alcohol to 4-ounces of wine and 10-ounces of beer.]


• PORTIONING CONSIDERATIONS — Most Gimlets are prepared using 3 parts alcohol (gin or vodka) to 1 part lime juice, while Kamikazes typically contain 4 parts alcohol (spirit plus triple sec) to 1 part lime juice and Lemon Drops are roughly 2 parts alcohol (vodka plus triple sec) to 1 part lemon juice. When devising one of these cocktails, be conservative with the amount of alcohol used. Making the drink stronger then involves no more than a minor flick of the wrist.


• SEASONAL ORIENTATION AND TRADE PERIOD — It’s natural to think of these light-bodied, citrus-centric cocktails as being more promotable in warm weather. However if protected from the elements, sipping these cocktails during the fall and winter is both thoroughly enjoyable, it’s an inalienable right guaranteed all free people. Classic cocktails like the Gimlet, Kamikaze and Lemon Drop typically venture out in public sometime shortly before dinner and are promotable until the early hours.


• GLASSWARE OPTIONS — The choice of glassware is an important marketing consideration. Conventional wisdom contends that the better a drink looks and the better people look drinking it, the better the drink will sell.

Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops served straight up require a cocktail glass with a minimum capacity of 5-ounces. There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes from which to choose, so pick a style that best epitomizes your cocktail’s personality. Serving the same cocktail on the rocks requires a glass around 8 to10-ounces in size. Here again, there are numerous styles of tumblers and specialty glasses designed for iced cocktails. Choose the one that best showcases your efforts.


• ALCOHOL-FREE OPTIONS: 5.4 OUT OF 10 — These cocktails are prepared Finest Call Lime Juice, Sweet & Sour, Lime Sour Mix and Finest Call Triple Sec and Blue Curaçao, all of which are fundamental building blocks of creating delectable alcohol-free concoctions. The mixes are delicious blended with ice cream, fruit purees or various types of tropical juices. They also pair well with flavored syrups and many of the other prominent drink mixes in the Finest Call portfolio.

[Scale: The rating of 5.8 out of 10 indicates that alcohol-free variations of Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops are plentiful and easily crafted.]


CREATING GIMLET, KAMIKAZE AND LEMON DROP MAGIC

The origin of the Gimlet can be traced to Colonial India and the British Empire. Officers and sailors in Her Royal Majesty’s Navy needed the ascorbic acid in limes to ward off the debilitating effects of scurvy. Gin was eventually added to the daily ration of lime juice to make it more palatable and thus the Gimlet was born.

At Finest Call, our portfolio of drink mixes were created to help you get in touch with your inner bartender and shake up some Gimlet, Kamikaze and Lemon Drop magic behind the bar.


• FINEST CALL PREMIUM LIME JUICE — Bottled lime juice is the cornerstone of the Gimlet and Kamikaze. Finest Call Premium Lime Juice is made entirely with Key limes cultivated in premier growing regions in Mexico. We add natural sweetener for balance and stability and then send it on its way.

Finest Call Lime Juice is precisely balanced so it Gimlets and Kamikazes with a luscious lime essence without adding unwanted sweetness. Tailor-made for use in cocktails, our lime juice is featured in the following recipes:

Blue Kamikaze

Fuzzy Kamikaze

Gimlet

International Ties Gimlet

Island Love Gimlet

Kamikaze

Luscious Raspberry Gimlet

Uptown Pinkie’s Lemon Drop


• FINEST CALL FRUIT PUREES — Our purees deliver a concentrated blast of fresh fruit flavor and help create cocktails with vitality and sun-drenched exuberance. Having done nature one better, Finest Call shelf-stable fruit purees allow you to fully deliver on the promise of fresh without the attendant hassles. Our unbeatable range of purees includes Raspberry, Strawberry, Banana, Mango, Peach and Passion Fruit.

Fuzzy Kamikaze (Peach)

Georgia Lemon Drop (Peach)

Island Love Gimlet (Mango)

Luscious Raspberry Gimlet (Raspberry)


• FINEST CALL LIME SOUR MIX — Finest Call Lime Sour Mix is a zesty mix with brilliant citrusy notes and the sublime taste of fresh lime juice. The key to its palate-pleasing personality is the delicate balance between the fresh citrus and sweetener. Lime Sour Mix is bottled in an easy to measure concentrated form, which affords you opportunity to control the exact amount of puckery tartness desired in the finished mix.             Our lime sour mix adds the perfect touch to the INTERNATIONAL TIES GIMLET and LUSCIOUS RASPBERRY GIMLET.


• FINEST CALL SWEET & SOUR — Our Olympic-class sweet & sour mix features an all-natural blend of lemon, orange and lime extracts. Sweeteners are added to throttle back some of the citrus exuberance, resulting in a delectably flavorful drink mix. It’s perfect for hosts with a lot to do and little time to do it.

The following Lemon Drops feature an added splash of sweet & sour.

Double Dip Lemon Drop

Georgia Lemon Drop

Lemon Drop

Uptown Pinkie’s Lemon Drop


• FINEST CALL TRIPLE SEC AND BLUE CURAÇAO — Triple Sec plays a crucial role in the Kamikaze and Lemon Drop. It adds body, a touch of sweetness and an orange aroma and flavor to both cocktails. Finest Call Triple Sec accomplishes that and much more. Additional benefits are it contains no alcohol and carries a small price tag.

• Finest Call Blue Curaçao tastes and smells almost identical to the Triple Sec. Both have delightful, semi-sweet orange characters. Yet the Curaçao brings something singularly compelling to the table that Triple Sec can’t muster—color.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration on how to create some Kamikaze and Lemon Drop magic, consider the following recipes.

Blue Kamikaze

Island Love Gimlet 

Kamikaze

Lemon Drop


FINEST CALL FRESH

Creating world-class Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops is cause for celebration. Success depends entirely on achieving balance. Add a touch too much sweetness and the drink will be cloying. Back off on the sweetener and you’ll have an acidic, bitter mess.

FINEST CALL LIME JUICE, FINEST CALL SWEET & SOUR AND FINEST CALL LIME SOUR MIX are surgically balanced, light-bodied and loaded with tangy, vibrant flavors. Most importantly, they’re up for the challenge of the taste test. Just add the tequila, a modifier or two and it should be a smooth, interesting journey from there.

If you have an urge to improve on perfection and have access to some fabulously luscious fruit—be they limes, lemons or oranges—go ahead and squeeze the juice into our sour mixes. They’ll be all that much better for it and give your Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops a leg up on the competition.

A few tips about juicing citrus. Room temperature fresh fruit yields more juice than those straight from the walk-in cooler. Make sure to not allow the bitter white pith of the zest from getting into the juice. While pulp in orange or grapefruit juice is a cache of quality, lime and lemon juice needs to be strained before use. Fresh lime juice needs to be refrigerated and won’t keep much more than 24 hours before needing to be discarded.

Another popular way to inject your Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops with more pizzazz is to muddle in fresh seasonal fruit or savory herbs and spices. Drinks prepared with Finest Call mixes and muddled ingredients are a slice above the rest, typically possessing supple, satiny-textured bodies, generous bouquets and palates imbued with enticing, tree-ripened flavors.

Beyond its theatrical appeal, muddling is an effective way to infuse your cocktails with flavors such as ginger, cucumbers and peppers to basil, mint and every type of fresh fruit imaginable. Factor in how muddling enhances the drink’s production value and you’ll begin to appreciate why muddling has become a significant beverage trend.


GIMLETS, KAMIKAZES AND LEMON DROPS — TIPS FOR PROS

Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops are classic 20th century cocktails born with the same intention and a similar lime/lemon orientation. They’re enduring success can largely be attributed to their simplicity and utterly sublime taste. Another thing they’ve got going for them is versatility. There seemingly are no limits to their creative potential.


• THE GIMLET FOUNDATION — There’s a natural affinity between gin and lime. Maybe they went to camp together. In any case, the zesty, tart flavor of lime seems divinely compatible with both dry gins and those on the sweeter, more floral end of the spectrum.

It would be an injustice, however, not to consider exploring your creative options. The enduring popularity of the Vodka Gimlet is testimony that the drink is capable of achieving greatness using a spirit other than gin.

Combining tequila and lime juice is also a natural. Featuring silver tequila in a Gimlet creates a sleek classically structured cocktail, while the prominent oaky, vanilla notes in añejo tequila give the drink more dimension. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider also making a Gimlet on mezcal. The light smoke in most mezcals provides for an intriguing finish.


• THE KAMIKAZE FOUNDATION — In practical terms, the place to begin devising a great Kamikaze is with the recipe for a genuinely magnificent Gimlet and begin tweaking from there. While Kamikazes are typically made with vodka, your spirit options are wide open.

Flavored vodkas, rums and tequilas are sensational when featured in a Kamikaze. Aged rums and añejo tequilas are viable candidates, as well as more exotic light spirits such as cachaça, Pisco, eaux de vie and grappa.


• THE LEMON DROP FOUNDATION — The Lemon Drop is a crisp and uncomplicated cocktail, qualities that make it a prime candidate for premium vodkas and many of the new flavored vodkas. The better the vodka, the better the Lemon Drop. The drink also accommodates gin, light rum, flavored rum and 100% agave tequilas.


ORANGE KEYSTONE — Kamikazes and Lemon Drops are typically prepared with triple sec as the orange modifier. To assess whether yours is an excellent triple sec, splash some into a glass, give it a healthy swirl and taste. Finest Call Triple Sec, for example, has a true-to-fruit orange flavor, smooth medium-weight body and crisp flavorful finish. If yours doesn’t come close, consider making a change.

If you’re looking at add a little drama to the cocktail, Finest Call Blue Curaçao is a popular choice because of its brilliant orange flavor and almost incandescent blue color.


• LIQUEURS AS MODIFIERS — Splashing a liqueur into a Gimlet, Kamikaze or Lemon Drop is an act of creative genius. Creative variations include UPTOWN PINKIE’S LEMON DROP, which is made with PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, the limoncello-laced DOUBLE DIP LEMON DROP and the FUZZY KAMIKAZE, which gets its peach flavor from peach schnapps.


• END GAME — Garnishing a Gimlet or Kamikaze with a wedge of fresh lime accomplishes two objectives. It’s an additional source of vitamin C and we know how important that it is. More importantly, the shape allows guests to squeeze more lime juice into the cocktail if they choose. It helps people become more connected to their cocktails.

Second, the garnish enhances the appearance of the cocktail, the importance of which should not be underestimated. As in all things, first impressions matter. Garnish these cocktails with an ample sized wedge and make sure the fruit is impeccably fresh. An old, dried-out piece of lime floating in a cocktail is unappetizing and creates a poor lasting impression.

The Lemon Drop’s sugar-coated lemon wedge is interactive and tremendously popular. The ritual is to take a lick of sugar and suck on the lemon after each sip of the drink. Slowly that gave way to the drink being presented with a sugared rim.

Gimlets, Kamikazes and Lemon Drops can also be embellished with long orange peel spirals, slices or wheels. So have fun and finish off your cocktails with pizzazz.


FINEST CALL GIMLET, KAMIKAZE AND LEMON DROP RECIPES

GIMLET

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

2 ½ oz. Gin

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge

NOTE: Traditionally made with gin, but may be requested with vodka


KAMIKAZE

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ½ oz. Vodka

¾ oz. Finest Call Triple Sec

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge


LEMON DROP

Sugar rimmed cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ¾ oz. Premium Citrus Vodka

¾ oz. Finest Call Triple Sec

1 ½ oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Garnish with a sugar-dipped lemon wedge


FINEST CALL SIGNATURE

GIMLET, KAMIKAZE AND LEMON DROP RECIPES

BLUE KAMIKAZE

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

2 ½ oz. Vodka

1 oz. Finest Call Blue Curaçao

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge


DOUBLE DIP LEMON DROP

Sugar rimmed cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ½ oz. Premium Citrus Vodka

¾ oz. Limoncello

1 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Add 1 scoop lemon sorbet

Garnish with a sugar-dipped lemon wedge


FUZZY KAMIKAZE

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

2 oz. Vodka

¾ oz. Peach Schnapps

¾ oz. Finest Call Peach Puree

½ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge


GEORGIA LEMON DROP

Sugar rimmed cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ¾ oz. Premium Peach Vodka

¾ oz. Finest Call Peach Puree

2 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Garnish with a sugar-dipped lemon wedge


INTERNATIONAL TIES GIMLET

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

2 ½ oz. Irish Whiskey

¾ oz. Cointreau

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Sour Mix

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge


ISLAND LOVE GIMLET

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ½ oz Premium Gold Rum

¾ oz. Finest Call Triple Sec

¾ oz. Finest Call Mango Puree

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge


LUSCIOUS RASPBERRY GIMLET

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ¾ oz. Premium Raspberry Vodka

¾ oz. Finest Call Raspberry Puree

½ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

½ oz. Finest Call Cherry Syrup

¾ oz. Finest Call Lime Sour Mix

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lime wedge


UPTOWN PINKIE’S LEMON DROP

Cocktail glass, chilled

Pour into an iced mixing glass

1 ¾ oz. Premium Citrus Vodka

¾ oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

½ oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

1 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Garnish with a sugar-dipped lemon wedge

Difficulty of
Preparation

Upselling
Potential

Alcohol-Free
Options