Yuzu juice and a sesame honey syrup lend completely new flavors to a classic summer drink.

The combination of gin, lime and sugar remains one of the most iconic flavor profiles in the cocktail lexicon, which is why it is both easy and challenging to improve on the trusty gimlet. At Bushwick’s Forrest Point, bartender Taylor Smirl set out to create a shochu, yuzu and sesame-syrup gimlet variation, but it soon became clear that striking the right balance would prove difficult.

Yuzu — the tart citrus fruit from Japan — is what helps makes the Genji Gimlet so unique, but this drink didn’t sing until Smirl worked with fellow barman Gareth Howells to add a backbone of gin, as well as herbal notes from green chartreuse, lime juice to contrast with the yuzu and a sesame tincture to increase the aroma found in the honey-based syrup.

The result elevates the yuzu to the proper brightness one expects from a gimlet, with the herbaceous chartreuse bringing a Last Word feel and the earthiness of sesame adding something completely unexpected. A dehydrated lime wheel provides the perfect garnish to this gorgeous summer drink. Though many have attempted to introduce completely new flavors to this classic before, this is definitely one of the more memorable and enjoyable takes I’ve had. Enjoy.

Classic Gimlet

Serving: 1 cocktail

2 ounces Beefeater Gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup


  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker tin and shake vigorously with ice for 10 seconds.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe and add a lime wedge garnish.

Genji Gimlet

Serving: 1 cocktail

1 ounce Brooklyn Gin
1 ounce dry sake
1/2 ounce green chartreuse
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce toasted sesame honey syrup*
1/4 ounce yuzu juice
Spray of house-made toasted sesame tincture
Dehydrated lime wheel garnish


  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker tin and shake vigorously with ice for 10 seconds.
  2. Double-strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wedge.

*Toasted Sesame Honey Syrup:

  1. Lightly toast sesame seeds in the oven for about 10 minutes, without burning them.
  2. Separately, heat 2 parts honey and 1 part water on the stove and blend together.
  3. Fold sesame seeds into mixture while hot and let sit before straining out.

Difficulty: Hard
Prep Time: 5 minutes, not including syrup