This drink was created very shortly after the Vodka Gibson, the difference in this drink is there is strong evidence that it was invented by Smirnoff Vodka. Here are a few early publications of this drink:
LIFE – May 18, 1959 – Page 144 Vol. 46, No. 20
“At the Vodka Party the guests and their Smirnoff drinks 1. john emery. His drink is a Vodka Gimlet. Make it by adding 1 part imported Rose’s Lime Juice to 3 or 4 parts Smirnoff. Serve over ice cubes in cocktail or Old Fashioned glass.
LIFE – Jun 15, 1959 – Page 63 Vol. 46, No. 24
“It makes the world’s driest Dry Martini. And combines with imported Rose’s Lime Juice for the perfect Vodka Gimlet. For your party’s success, use Smirnoff— no less. Serve the vodka they like— as they like it.”
There are strong indicators that this drink was invented by Smirnoff Vodka. Here is an early publication of the company copyrighting not only the Vodka Gimlet, but several other classic cocktails as well:
Commercial prints and labels: Volumes 13-16 by Library of Congress. Copyright Office in 1959
“HEUBLEIN. STE. PIERRE SMIRNOFF FLS. © Bloody Mary; vodka sour. Smirnoff vodka. (Smirnoff vodka gimlet. (In Dally news, Mar. 8, 196l, p.60) Appl. author: LC”
This should come as no surprise as Smirnoff had already claimed such greats as the Screwdriver, Vodka Sour, and Bloody Mary. By far, Smirnoff has coined more classic drinks than any other liquor company.
This drink dates between 1958 – 1959 and contained at least as of then:
Shake these ingredients:
3 to 4 parts Vodka (Smirnoff)
1 part Lime Juice (Rose’s Imported Lime Juice)
Strain into a chilled martini glass or over ice in an old-fashioned glass.
Simple Syrup (Modern, introduced to the drink in 1973)