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Watermelon Gimlet

5 from 7 votes

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Last Updated on June 23, 2021 by Heather Wibbels

watermelon cocktail with watermelon and basil garnish
Watermelon Gimlet

This Watermelon Gimlet will cure what ails you. Even on a hot summer afternoon, there’s not much more satisfying that a cold gimlet, chilled to perfection with just the right balance of sweet and sour. Here, I’ve made a simple gimlet even more summer with the addition of watermelon simple syrup and a touch of lavender bitters.

I never think I have any gin until I go looking for it and find lonely gin bottles from the early days of different whiskey distilleries in among the bottles of whiskey. They stand there like the lost introverts at a party – trying to participate but being left on the sidelines.

I still had a small bit of watermelon syrup in the fridge that needed to be used up, and a lovely floral gin gimlet was just what the doctor ordered this afternoon. Gimlets were a simple solution, just gin, lime and simple to put together a gorgeous cocktail with a fresh watermelon and basil garnish.

watermelon cocktail with watermelon and basil garnish
Watermelon Gimlet

The basil came about because I was thinking of those tasty watermelon/basil/feta salads I see on restaurant menus this time of year, and the aromatic basil tucked just behind the watermelon garnish gave me a hint of basil’s savory notes with each sip of the cocktail.

I did add just a bit of Scrappy’s Lavender bitters to tone down the sweetness, and added a smidge of hibiscus syrup to dial up the pink color a smidge. If you don’t have hibiscus, a dash of quality grenadine will give the same effect.

If you’d like to see more gin recipes, I just put a champagne/gin cocktail up last week here for Strawberry Gin Bubbles or you can take a peek at another watermelon cocktail with the Meloncholy Watermelon Sour.

watermelon cocktail with watermelon and basil garnish
Watermelon Gimlet
watermelon cocktail with watermelon and basil garnish

Watermelon Gimlet

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Sip your worries away with this easy summer gimlet variation. A touch of watermelon simple syrup and just a smidge of lavender bitters give this summer classic an interesting twist.
5 from 7 votes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Gin cocktail
Servings 1


  • 2 oz Castle and Key gin
  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • ¾ oz scant watermelon simple syrup**
  • 1 barspoon hibiscus simple syrup for color (or homemade grenadine)
  • 6 drops Scrappy’s lavender bitters
  • Garnish: thin slice of watermelon and a basil leaf


  • Combine gin, lime juice, simples and bitters in a shaking tin.
  • Add ice and shake for 10-12 seconds or until the shaker is so cold it’s painful.
  • Double strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a watermelon slice and a fresh basil leaf.


**Watermelon simple syrup: See link above in recipe text.
Keyword chili lime, gin, lavender, watermelon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on July 8th, 2020
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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3 thoughts on “Watermelon Gimlet”

  1. 5 stars
    I substituted strawberry simple syrup for the hibiscus simple syrup and OMG loved the flavour. Watermelon came through but the strawberry made the finish POP! Thanks for the inspiration.

5 from 7 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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