Lush life: A Cucumber Cocktail

Cukes make the move from garden to garnish to glass.
cucumber cocktail

cucumber cocktail

Cucumber is on—and in!—this cucumber gimlet, made with gin, lime juice, sugar and water.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Ocean Prime

Image courtesy of Ocean Prime

Cucumber is on—and in!—this cucumber gimlet, made with gin, lime juice, sugar and water.

On the plate, cucumbers play starring roles in salads and sandwiches, yet behind the bar they've rarely gotten past the rim of the glass. But now that culinary cocktails are all the rage, mixologists are mixing these gorgeous gourds with gin, finding that the clean, subtle flavor of the cucumber plays quite nicely with juniper berries.

Before you pickle that next bushel—or make another stack of tea sandwiches—set a few cucumbers aside for cocktail hour and try these two recipes.

Cucumber Gimlet

Courtesy of Ocean Prime

1.5 ounces gin

1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

1 ounce simple syrup

4-5 slices of cucumber

Add cucumber, fresh lime juice and simple syrup to a shaker. Muddle with three ice cubes until cucumber is dissolved. Add ice to shaker to fill halfway. Shake gently and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with cucumber peel threaded through a cocktail pick.

Sparkling Sapphire

Courtesy of Bourbon Bar, Atlanta, Georgia

4-5 fresh cucumber slices

1.5 ounces Bombay sapphire gin

½ ounce Soho lychee liquor

¾ ounces fresh lemon juice

1 ounce ginger simple syrup*

1 ounce brut Champagne

Add cucumber to mixing glass an muddle. Add gin, lemon juice, syrup, liquor and ice. Shake to chill about 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and top with Champagne. 

*Ginger simple syrup

1-2 ginger roots

1 cup sugar

1 cup hot water

Remove the skin from 1-2 ginger roots. Using the edge of a spoon is usually easier than a peeler. Slice the ginger root into very thin pieces. In a large glass, combine 1:1 ratio of sugar to hot water. Stir and dissolve the sugar, then add the ginger root slices. Let the ginger steep until the water and sugar mixture is cool. Strain the ginger root out and serve. This can be refrigerated up to a week. 

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