Far Eastern Nitro Gimlet

The Far Eastern Nitro Gimlet is my perennial favorite drink from Bear vs. Bull, the in-theater bar at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in San Francisco where the drink is available on draft. The drink is perfect. It’s refreshing and well balanced between sweet and bitter.

The key to a good gimlet is using lime cordial instead of fresh lime juice. Lime cordial sounds a bit time-consuming, but you can actually make it in a few easy steps with just a little preparation with bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler‘s write-up. He asserts – and I wholeheartedly agree – that fresh lime juice gimlets just aren’t that good. They aren’t sour or tart enough to balance out the drink. Instead, Rose’s lime juice is often used – but it can also be terrible due to its unnatural and sickeningly sweet flavor profile.

Fast and Easy Steps for Lime Cordial

To get started, order some citric acid (Amazon link here). For about $8, you should be able to get a pound or two which will be more than enough to supply your children and grandchildren long after you pass. Science fact of the day: citric acid sounds artificial, but it occurs naturally, not just in citrus fruits, but in you. You might remember the “Krebs cycle” from biology. It’s also known as the citric acid cycle, and citric acid is a biproduct. I’d describe the taste as “essence of sour patch kids.”

Cocktail in glass topped with lime wedge.


  • 2 oz Martin Miller’s Westbourne Gin
  • .75 oz Lime Cordial
  • .5 oz Fresh Lime Juice


Old fashioned glass


  • Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake and strain into old fashioned glass.
  • Serve with a big ice cube and lime wheel garnish.
  • To make lime cordial see below.

Lime Cordial Instructions

Get yourself some citric acid from Amazon first!

  • In a blender…
  • Grate a few limes to get 1.5 oz of grated lime peel. Should be about 3 or 4 limes.
  • Weigh out 250 g of sugar.
  • Measure 1 oz citric acid.
  • Add 1.5 oz fresh lime juice.
  • Add 8 oz of hot water.
  • Blend on medium for about 30 seconds.
  • Strain into a bottle or a container. To strain I just poured the whole thing into a cocktail shaker and double strained it a few times. After some tinkering, I now recommend straining first with a wire strainer, then if you have a nut bag, just use it as a sieve on top of a big bowl.

Recommend checking out Jeffery Morgenthaler’s post on the subject.

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