A Cucumber-Mint Rickey

Bright, refreshing flavors infuse this garden spin on a classic Gin Rickey.

cucumber and mint cocktail

A Cucumber-Mint Rickey

Source this refreshing cocktail in your own vegetable and herb garden.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Cointreau

Image courtesy of Cointreau

Source this refreshing cocktail in your own vegetable and herb garden.

Talk about dream jobs. Kyle Ford runs the Manhattan cocktail consulting firm Ford Mixology Lab with his wife Rachel. I imagine blissful hours spent creating and testing new cocktail recipes, a process that sounds like a cross between an MIT lab and the living room of cocktail-happy detectives Nick and Nora Charles in the classic Hollywood Thin Man series.

Garden ingredients are, naturally, a source of constant inspiration for these cocktail scientists, including this refreshing Cucumber-Mint Rickey. The Fords' recipe substitutes the gin in the traditional Gin Rickey with Cointreau and adds an extra dose of garden goodness with mint and cucumber.  

As occupants of a typically small New York City apartment, the Fords don’t have much of a garden from which to source fresh ingredients. So Kyle relies on the Union Square Greenmarket for inspiration where he finds fresh fruit and flowers to amp up cocktail recipes. Some of Kyle’s favorite flavor combinations include strawberries with basil; cherries with sage or thyme; and key limes with honey and mint.

“I've definitely tried out my fair share of odd ingredients in cocktails,” admits Ford. “ A lot were chef driven, especially when I tended bar at Rye in San Francisco, a bar known for its garden-to-glass philosophy.  A chef friend of mine once stopped in with some black garlic. It was surprisingly cocktail-friendly. Sweet with an essence of tamarind.”


Cucumber-Mint Rickey

  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3-4 ounces club soda
  • 3 cucumber wheels
  • 5 mint leaves

Muddle the cucumber and mint in the bottom of a highball glass. Add the remaining ingredients with ice. Stir briefly. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and mint sprig.

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