In the 17th century English sailors realized that eating citrus fruits contributes to preventing scurvy, which is one of the most common diseases during long term swimming.
In 1747 James Lind, a Scottish surgeon, conducted a clinical trial proving the influence of citrus against scurvy. But he also argued that scurvy is a consequence of many factors – such as, for example, poorly digested food of no better quality, untreated water, hours of recycling and, as a result, total fatigue, damp, poor living conditions. So he didn’t claim that citrus is a panacea for scurvy and the only salvation.
In 1794, a vessel named Suffolk was on a voyage for 23 weeks without stopping on its way to India, and there was one mandatory component in each team member’s diet – lemon juice. During the entire journey, nothing deadly happened to any of the sailors. This undeniable fact was a consequence of the fact that from 1800 citrus juice became a mandatory component of the diet of the entire fleet. The oft-cited Merchant Shipping Act (1867) made it mandatory for all British ships to incorporate lime juice into the diet.
Once the benefit of consuming citrus juice became widely known, British sailors who consumed it in large quantities began to mix it with a day’s serving of water and rum and affectionately call Limeys.
Normally the juice was retained and not spoiled thanks to the small amount of rum that was added to it, but in 1867 Lauchlin Rose – owner of a shipbuilding company in Scotland patented the process conservation of fruit juice with sugar, not alcohol as before. To introduce the product into widespread circulation he packed them in attractive bottles with the Rose’s Lime Cordial label. Today in bars use lime cordial as a premix, that is, brew it in advance, and mixed with gin when served.
Legend has it that while the privates drank rum, mixing it with lemon juice, then senior officers drank gin, of course, mixing it with Rose’s Lime Cordial.
As for the name, the verbatim translation means “buravchik” is a small tool for opening up barrels of alcohol carried by British vessels.
Another story goes that the cocktail is named after a certain marine doctor named Thomas Desmond Gimlette.
Despite the consonance, Mr. Gimli from Professor John Ronald Rowel Tolkien’s trilogy here is absolutely nothing.
One of Timur Bekmambetov’s wife’s favourite cocktails, Gimlet confirms that drinking alcohol in reasonable doses is beneficial and sometimes vital.