This cucumber gimlet, made with gin, cucumber, simple syrup, and lime, is a classic cocktail with a twist. Or rather, a slice–of cucumber!
This is not your classic gimlet. The 50s classic, typically made with the mouth-twitchingly puckery Rose’s lime juice and gin, is perfectly fine. But when you swap out the bottled citrus flavor for real lime and add to it the lightly vegetal note of cucumber, well, let’s just say it’s something special. Not to mention the color attained from the cucumber peel. Sip slowly and savor.–Erin Scott
Noticed all the unexpected cocktails and mocktails that cucumbers are finding their way into these days? It seems like just yesterday when it was considered pretty spiffy to drop a few slices of cucumber into a pitcher of ice water. Suddenly the oblong vegetable can be found in margaritas, martinis, mojitos, and more—including the classic gimlet. Well, we guess it’s not so classic with this addition. Although we gotta say, the vegetal overtones of gin take quite nicely to the summer veggie. So much so that we think a new verb is in order for this trend. We propose “cucumberified.”
- 1 (4-inch) chunk cucumber seeded, peeled or unpeeled
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice from 4 to 6 limes
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup simple syrup or light agave nectar
- Your favorite gin (Hendrick’s, with its flowery, botanical flavor, is an admirable choice)
- Ice cubes
- Coarsely chop enough cucumber to measure 1/2 cup. Slice the remaining cucumbers into thin rounds for garnish.
- In a blender or food processor, thoroughly purée the chopped cucumber, lime juice, water, and simple syrup or agave nectar. (Before juicing the limes, roll them against the countertop with the heel of your hand. It makes the whole process much easier.) Strain the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer.
- For each drink, mix up to 2 ounces (1/4 cup) booze with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) cucumber lime syrup. Add ice cubes and cucumber for garnish.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Now this cucumber gimlet was a fantastic way to get those fruits and veggies in! A very refreshing cocktail that really highlighted the delicate cucumber flavor. This cucumber gimlet will definitely be making several appearances at cocktail hour this summer!
I used agave as a sweetener and Tanqueray gin. After blending everything in a Vitamix and then straining, I was left with 5 delicious servings.
What a refreshing cocktail for summer. The cucumber and lime combined beautifully with the floral notes in the Hendrick’s gin. I garnished with both cucumber and lime—the extra squeeze of fresh lime is a must in my book. This will definitely be a summer favorite!
This is a cool, summery cocktail that I look forward to serving to a group. The nice thing about this drink is that you could easily make a large batch of the syrup and either make drinks individually or in a pitcher or punch bowl, depending on the number of guests.
I am a discriminating cocktail drinker so I will admit that I found this drink a bit too harsh. The fresh lime juice, though vibrant and fresh, was a tad too acidic. However, the drink was perfectly sweet, and I would definitely not increase the agave or simple syrup. In the future, I would substitute Rose’s Lime for half of the fresh lime juice and increase the cukes to 1 cup to temper the lime intensity. I used Hendricks, which was indeed a lovely choice.
This cucumber gimlet would be a nice interruption in your standard cocktail routine. The cucumber and lime make for an extremely refreshing drink, and the color and unexpected froth add to the allure. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it vegetal-tasting, but the cucumber essence may have been somewhat overpowered by the amount of gin or agave used, which was a turnoff to both my testers.
Not being much of a sweet-drink fan myself (or gin, for that matter), I still thoroughly enjoyed it, though I’d used more cucumber, a tad more lime, and quite a bit less agave in the syrup next time. And then I’d increase the syrup rather than using it in equal proportion to the gin. I think you could experiment pretty successfully with a touch of herbs or soda water in place of the still. I’m also curious what the results would be had I not strained the pulp out or if I had blended the syrup at length to make it super frothy. In any case, this appealed to me far more than a traditional gimlet, which I’m grateful for because who doesn’t love to say, “I’m making gimlets”?
I used Tanqueray gin. I wasn’t sure whether to keep blending the cucumber mix to make the syrup frothier. I kind of like that bubbly texture.
This was great!! It was very refreshing, sweet, and tart with an undertone of cucumber. I had to make a half batch because I didn’t have enough people to drink them! And that recipe yielded a total of four drinks.
I used 1/2 of a cucumber with peel on, 3 limes (they were a little smaller than usual), 1/4 cup cold water, and 1/4 cup nectar. I zapped the hard limes in the microwave for 30 seconds and then rolled them on the counter with my hand. I had the Kitchenaid out along with the citrus juicer so juicing them was a snap.
I processed the four ingredients in the Vitamix blender until pureed well. Once it settled, it needed to be strained since it had a foamy top to it. It turned out to be a very pretty green! I used 1/4 cup cucumber lime syrup and 1/4 cup Hendrick’s gin. Added a few ice cubes and it was ready to drink! This is a wonderful spring cocktail which I will keep and share with others.
At first, the servings are right and we made this with Tangueray Ten. My testers said that the juniper gin flavor wasn’t overwhelming yet you still get the liquor kick. It’s a good summer drink. Adding some extra cucumber, maybe.2/3 cup total, would make it better.
Originally published July 19, 2018
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This cucumber gimlet is the perfect warm-weather drink. The fresh cucumber and lime combination has just enough sweetness.
You can purée the cucumber with a blender, food processor, or do as I did: roughly grate the cucumber, use a stick or immersion blender, and strain the syrup, pressing it to extract all the liquid. I added simple syrup in place of agave. Since 4 limes had given me a scant 1/2 cup juice, I matched it with the same amount of simple syrup, and it was plenty sweet. I chilled the glasses with ice, and I also put some ice in a small pitcher along with the cucumber, lime syrup, and gin. We used an ordinary London gin, though, of course, something like Hendrick’s would make it extra special.
This easily serves 4 and could stretch a bit with more ice. I think 2 ounces gin might be a bit heavy for some folks, so that might make the case for adding more ice—just match the syrup and gin amounts. I served the gimlet with cucumber rounds and, because it was just too tempting, a demitasse spoon of the cucumber-lime syrup solids alongside to preview the fresh, sweet flavors of the drink. This makes a stunning cocktail for spring and summer.