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Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail: pickle twist on Jerry Thomas classic

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  • Making a Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail looking through the mixing glass
  • Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail with shadow detail
  • Making a Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail with shadow details, shrub bottle and mixing glass in background
  • Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail close up

Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail is a pickle twist on Jerry Thomas’ classic gin fix cocktail recipe appearing in his 1862 Bar-tender’s Guide. The original gin fix recipe produces a simple and elegantly balanced cocktail served over crushed ice. Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail is a sweet-tart cocktail made with local Sydney Poor Tom’s Strawberry Gin as the base spirit, complemented  by a raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar, flavoured with lime and lemon balm and preserved with apple cider vinegar, a dash of agave syrup, garnished with a lime twist, a raspberry and a sprig of lemon balm, built on a mountain of crushed ice. This makes for a delicate and very refreshing drink that is light pink in colour, with pops of green and pink from the raspberry, lime and lemon balm garnish. The Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail is a beautiful drink that offers a true sensory experience due to the crushed ice, refreshing shrub, intense raspberry flavour and delicate lime perfume.

Gin fix cocktail photographs
Visually stunning this Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail was so much fun to photograph – the melting ice was a challenge, but I love the refreshing beads of melted ice that frost the glassware. I’m exploring hard light and shadows and these photographs continue the theme, shot in Autumn sunlight featuring patterns and shadows from light falling onto and through the antique glassware and mixing glass and an otherworldly glow inside the pink ice filled core of the drink. When researching the gin fix cocktail I sadly could not find many online images of the gin fix, excepting that on Difford’s Guide, so I am hoping that these gin fix cocktail photographs of a modern interpretation of a pickle gin fix cocktail go some way to addressing this gap and reviving interest in this elegant and delicious cocktail – the gin fix.

Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Classic gin fix cocktail recipe
The original Jerry Thomas 1862 gin fix recipe in the Bar-tender’s Guide is very simple and elegant including gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, powdered sugar dissolved in a little water and crushed ice. Simon Difford in Difford’s Guide offers a modern interpretation of the Gin Fix recipe which I found useful when researching this cocktail – he uses simple syrup rather than the fine powdered sugar dissolved in water that the original recipe calls for. Monica Carbonell from Liquid Culture also makes this modern interpretation of Jerry Thomas’ recipes to replace powdered sugar dissolved in water with simple syrup although she is writing about a New School Daisy recipe.

How is the Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail different to the original gin fix cocktail recipe?
My Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail is a pickle cocktail using a raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar in place of the raspberry syrup and lemon juice as flavouring and souring agents respectively, to complement the base spirit of local Sydney Poor Tom’s Strawberry Gin.

Strawberry gin: Using local Sydney Poor Tom’s Strawberry Gin adds a further fruit flavour and aroma to the gin fix that works with the raspberry, lime and lemon balm of the shrub syrup. Using a local base spirit makes this cocktail more sustainable. The original recipe calls for a Genever Gin or dry style gin. The Poor Tom’s Strawberry Gin has a base of Sydney dry gin that is then infused with strawberries and other botanicals including, ginger, hibiscus, with additional cardamom and cubeb pepper.

Vinegar as souring agent: The apple cider vinegar from the shrub adds the souring agent and is the preservative in the shrub syrup. Using a shrub offers a lower sugar alternative than the lemon juice and a sugar preserved raspberry syrup of the original so that the seasonal raspberry flavour really shines. Due to the acidity of the vinegar the shrub offers a very refreshing drink.

Raspberry, lime, lemon balm flavours: The raspberry, lime and lemon balm of the shrub syrup offer intense and ambrosial flavour that is sweet and soft.

Balance: For ease of use and a lower sugar cocktail I have balanced the sweet-sour of the cocktail by replacing the fine sugar dissolved in water with a bar spoon of agave syrup. Simple syrup also works well following Simon Difford’s interpretation of the gin fix recipe and Monica Carbonell’s insights into modernising Jerry Thomas’ daisy recipe into a New School Daisy.

Crushed ice & how to build the gin fix cocktail in the glass: My favourite thing about this cocktail is the crushed ice. Jerry Thomas (1862: 771) writes in his Bar-tender’s Guide:

“Fill up the glass two-thirds full of shaved ice, stir thoroughly, and ornament the top with berries in season.”

I like to prepare the crushed ice before I start to make the drink. To make crushed ice that you are going to use straight away wrap a handful of ice cubes in a clean tea towel and bash with a rolling pin on a chopping board until crushed. Use an ice spoon to scoop the ice into your cocktail glass to build the drink.

My interpretation of the recipe stirs the key ingredients in in a cocktail mixing glass and then builds the drink over a mountain of crushed ice in the glass. This departs slightly from the original which builds the whole drink in the glass, stirring in the glass. I find it easier to test and if needed adjust the balance by stirring in a mixing glass prior to adding to a cocktail glass filled with ice. This method allows ease in making multiple drinks and keeps the final cocktail glass clean for presentation. The mountain of crushed ice in my version is faithful to the original recipe. I have added a further cap of crushed ice for presentation; in parallel to the method used for making a Mint Julep.

Related cocktails and how the gin fix with crushed ice is different: The crushed ice in the gin fix cocktail, is similar to the ice used in a Mint Julep or a Mai Tai cocktail, and I think adds a very refreshing sensation to the experience of drinking the cocktail that speaks to the origin of these drinks as related to the Arabic word julab meaning rose water. Simon Difford points out the similarities between the gin fix and the gin sour and gin daisy, indicating that the key point of difference is the crushed ice used in the gin fix. Other points of difference: a sour uses egg white, while a daisy uses grenadine. Jerry Thomas (1862) in his Bar-tender’s Guide provides recipes for brandy, rum and whiskey, as well as gin fixes. These fix recipes all feature crushed ice and the same method of stirring and building in the glass. The brandy and rum versions include the addition of curacao.

Garnish: The garnish of a lime twist adds delicate and fresh lime oil flavour and perfume to the cocktail that complements the refreshing notes from the shrub, while the berries remain faithful to the original recipe which called for a garnish of fresh berries. I have added lemon balm from my cocktail garden as I have this growing in abundance now and the softness of the lemon flavour really works well with the raspberries and lime. The complementary pink and green of the garnish, adds a pop of colour and theatre to the delicate pink of this refreshing iced drink.

Advance preparation of the raspberry shrub syrup for an easy to make cocktail
The gin fix is a simple and easy to make cocktail – my Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail replaces the lemon juice and raspberry syrup with a raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar which does take some advance preparation. However, making the shrub syrup is easy to do, requiring maceration of the fruit overnight with low GI cane sugar in the fridge and assembling with apple cider vinegar the following day. Making your own shrub syrup is well worth the time and effort involved as you will have a quality seasonal ingredient that can be used in multiple cocktails, drinks and desserts including the gin fix.

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Raspberry lime gin fix cocktail

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 10 minutes




Crush 2 large handfuls of ice in a clean tea towel, using a rolling pin on a chopping board.


Use an ice spoon or julep spoon to scoop the ice into your cocktail glass


Prepare the drink by mixing gin, raspberry shrub syrup and agave syrup in a mixing glass with a long handled bar spoon – taste to ensure balance by dropping a few drops onto the back of your hand.


Pour the stirred drink over the crushed ice in your cocktail glass


Add a cap of crushed ice with the ice spoon to make a pretty mountain of ice for the garnish to rest on


Twist the lime between your fingers to release the lime oil over the cocktail, run the lime around the rim of the glass and then place on the crushed ice cap


Add a fresh raspberry and a sprig of lemon balm.




Original gin fix recipe

Jerry Thomas (1862, 2016 reprint of 1887 version). Gin Fix in Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide: How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks Dover: New York, originally Dick & Fitzgerald: New York.

Online gin fix recipes

Simon Difford (2019) . Gin Fix in Difford’s Guide.

Gin Fix in Saveur.

Gin Fix in Epicurious.

Related recipes – Gin Daisy, Gin Sour

Monica Carbonell (2019) . New School Daisy in Liquid Culture.

Simon Difford (2019) . Gin Daisy in Difford’s Guide.

Simon Difford (2019) . Gin Sour in Difford’s Guide.

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