Last updated on September 3rd, 2023
Give this cucumber gimlet a try and it will quickly become your favorite summertime cocktail. Fresh cucumber slices, lime juice, gin and simple syrup create an elegant yet refreshing drink.
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Last summer for our anniversary, my husband and I stole away to a local resort hotel for a weekend without the kiddos. Our first night, The Husband ordered a cocktail from the bar menu — a cucumber gimlet. Freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup create the perfect balance between sweet and tart, while fresh cucumber slices provides a fresh, clean flavor. Since that weekend, the cucumber gimlet has quickly become one of our favorite summer time cocktails.
What is a gimlet?
A traditional gimlet is a gin-based cocktail flavored with lime juice and simple syrup. It’s typically served without ice in a coupe glass, though a martini glass can also be used.
Ingredients and tools you will need
With only five ingredients, a cucumber gimlet is a cocktail that can easily be made for one or for a crowd. To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- 4 slices of fresh cucumber – cut 1/4-inch thick.
- 1/2 ounce of simple syrup – click over to my homemade simple syrup tutorial to learn how to easily make your own.
- 2 ounces dry gin
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Juicer – as mentioned above, you need to juice your own limes. A handheld juicer will only set you back a few bucks, but does require a bit more elbow grease. This electric juicer is budget friendly and makes short work of all that juicing. I keep both in my kitchen.
- Cocktail shaker – if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, any drink container with a lid, such as a mason jar, will work.
- Muddler – a muddler is is used to mash the cucumber slices. If you don’t have one, try the end of a wooden spoon.
How to make a cucumber gimlet
Drop the cucumber slices into the bottom of the cocktail shaker. Add the simple syrup, then muddle, or gently mash, the cucumbers until they release their flavor. Add the gin and the lime juice, then fill the shaker 3/4 of the way with ice.
Fasten the lid securely onto the cocktail shaker and shake until the ingredients are mixed and the cocktail is chilled. Strain the cucumber gimlet into a glass. Garnish with sliced fresh cucumber if desired.
Want to make this for a crowd?
If you’re planning on serving this to guests, you certainly don’t want to be spending all your time mixing drinks. Instead, make cucumber gimlets by the pitcher! Soak 1 1/2 cups of cucumber slices in one 750 ml bottle of gin for at least eight hours. Strain the gin, then combine it in a 2-quart pitcher with 2 1/4 cups of fresh lime juice and one cup of simple syrup. Keep the cocktail mix refrigerator until ready to serve.
Frequently asked questions
Since there are relatively few ingredients in this cocktail, I recommend spending a little extra money on a mid-tier gin. The Husband prefers Bombay Sapphire. Other good choices include Plymouth, Greenhook or Bluecoat.
Can I use vodka instead?
Yes, if you aren’t a big gin drinker, vodka can be used as a substitute for the gin.
Can I use bottled lime juice instead of fresh?
Please, dont. Bottled lime juice has a weird metallic flavor and will definitely affect the flavor of your drink.
Can I make this without alcohol?
Yes, I recommend replacing the gin with tonic, seltzer, sparkling water or club soda.
Can I just use straight sugar instead of making simple syrup?
It may take longer for the sugar to dissolve in the cocktail, resulting in a gritty texture or unbalanced flavor. Since the sugar is already dissolved in the simple syrup, it’s recommended over straight sugar. You can purchase simple syrup already made, but since it’s so easy to make and keeps for weeks, why not just make your own? Refer to the ingredients section above for a link to my simple syrup recipe.
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- 4 slices fresh cucumber cut about 1/4-inch thick
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Place the cucumber slices and the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the cucumbers until they start to release their juice (my husband says he likes the cucumbers pulverized).
- Add the gin and the lime juice.
- Fill the shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously until the ingredients are combined and the cocktail is chilled.
- Strain the cocktail into a glass without ice.