The cool factor of cucumber makes it a dynamic cocktail ingredient. Whether incorporated to chill the pop of fellow ingredients or add some refreshing green notes to a drink, cucumbers ought to be readily available at your home bar.
Bartenders tend to cut cucumber up in three different ways—wheels, ribbons, and spears. The first is basically a disc sliced about 1/4 inch thick. The second is a bit more involved, made using a vegetable peeler to first remove a strip of peel, then some cucumber. You can fold it back and forth some before skewering it on a pick of some kind. A spear is essentially a pickle, usually cut in a 6-inch length.
And that’s just garnish speak. We like to muddle with cucumbers, use cucumber juice, and even play around with other varieties, like Japanese cucumber. Its grassy, spring-ready flavor is an ideal match for many spirits, as well as a variety of fresh juices, fruits, and herbs.
Go green, or greener, with these nine cucumber-tastic cocktails (including one mocktail).
- 2 oz Kikori Whiskey
- 1 oz lime juice
- .75 oz simple syrup
- 3 shiso leaves
- 3 slices Japanese cucumber
Method: Muddle cucumbers and shiso in shaker, then add all liquid ingredients with ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a shiso leaf.
- 2 parts Milagro Silver Tequila
- 1 part fresh lime juice
- .75 part agave nectar (or simple syrup)
- 4 watermelon chunks
- 2 slices cucumber
Method: Muddle watermelon & cucumber in a Boston shaker, add remaining ingredients. Shake and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with Tajin and watermelon and cucumber spears.
- .5 oz Fernet-Branca
- 1 oz Pimms No. 1
- top with ginger ale
- garnish with sliced cucumbers, lemon, mint, and strawberry
Method: Pour Fernet-Branca and Pimms No. 1 in a glass over crushed ice, top with ginger ale and garnish with sliced cucumbers, lemon, mint, and strawberry.
- 2 oz club soda
- .75 oz agave thyme syrup
- .25 oz cucumber juice
- .25 oz lemon juice
- 6-8 mint sprigs
- oval cucumber slice for garnish
- thyme sprig for garnish
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker. Shake well then double strain into a highball and top it off with club soda. Garnish with an oval cucumber slice and a thyme sprig.
- 2 oz Solento Blanco Tequila
- .75 oz lime juice
- .5 oz agave syrup
- 4 slices of cucumber
- 4 mint leaves
Method: Gently muddle mint and cucumber and agave syrup. Add tequila, lime juice, and ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with mint and cucumber.
- 1 oz Ketel One Vodka
- 3.5 oz freshly juiced cucumber and celery (equal parts)
- .5 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 pinch of salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried chili flakes
Method: Add all ingredients to glass, stir well and add ice. Garnish with a salted cucumber slice.
- 1.5 parts Milagro Silver
- 2 parts Bloody Mary mix or Clamato
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 3 dashes hot sauce
- 1 part lime juice
- 2 parts cucumber juice
- 1-4 tsp. kosher salt
- 6 parts Mexican Lager
Method: Build in pint glass over ice, stir. Garnish with lime wheels and tajin rim.
- 1.5 parts Reyka Vodka
- .5 part Dolin Blanc
- 3 cucumber slices
- .75 part lemon juice
- .5 part simple syrup
- 1 part watermelon juice
Method: Muddle cucumber slices in the bottom of a shaker. Then add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and fine-strain into highball glass with ice. Add 1 part sparkling wine (rosé is nice). Garnish with a cucumber slice wrapped in the glass.
- 1 parts EFFEN Cucumber Vodka
- 1 splash of lime juice
- 2 parts lemon lime soda
- Tajin Clasico seasoning
Method: Rim a glass with Tajin seasoning. Build over fresh ice, garnish with a cucumber wheel.
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