3 Ways To Add Cucumber To Your Favourite Gin Cocktail
In the world of spirits, some pairings evoke an absolute sense of 'rightness'. The matching of gin with cucumber certainly falls in this category. Adjectives like "crisp", "cool" and "clean" are often used to describe both gin and cucumber, which only spotlights why they make for such a natural coupling. But how do you optimise this pairing, beyond using cucumber garnishes for your favourite gin drink? Let's try a few innovative ways, shall we?
Sliced Two Ways
- Cut Thick, For A Classic G&T
This choice requires minimal effort but maximises the cucumber-gin marriage. In a cocktail glass, you can take 45 ml of gin (we recommend a quality spirit like Tanqueray or Gordon's), and add 85 ml of tonic water to it. Next, wash, peel and slice a fresh cucumber, like you might for a simple salad. The slices needn't be even and can be cut a little thick. Drop five to six pieces into your drink, stir, let the cucumber settle, and sip slowly.
- Thin-Sliced Delight
If it's a decidedly crisp drink you'd like, then opt for thin-slicing the cucumber while following the same instructions as above for your ingredients and method. Getting the cucumber slices perfectly thin — they need to be wholly translucent and delicate like paper — is key. Cut this way, the slices will float in your glass instead of settling at the bottom, infusing every sip with their mild yet distinctive flavour.
- Muddled & Infused
Placing a few cucumber slices at the bottom of your glass and muddling them before adding the other drink ingredients is one way of getting the most of that fresh feel. You could also immerse a few slices in a serving of gin and leave overnight, for a homemade infusion.
In some cocktails, you can substitute certain types of syrups with cucumber juice, leading to a more intense flavour. A case in point would be the Cucumber Gin Fizz. Ordinarily, the recipe calls for 45 ml a gin like Tanqueray or Gordon's to be shaken with ice cubes and slices of cucumber and lime. Now, the recipe says you can add 25 ml of a syrup of your choice to complete the drink. But we recommend substituting the syrup with the same quantity of fresh cucumber juice instead. The end result will spell R-E-F-R-E-S-H-I-N-G.
Cucumber juice also features in the martini variety that is named for it. Here, 15 ml of fresh cucumber juice meets 60 ml of gin and 15 ml of vermouth in a glass to make for a very chill cocktail.
If you've got some cucumber juice left over from making the drinks mentioned above, simply pour it into an ice tray, cover, and pop into the freezer. These cucumber ice cubes will be an absolutely marvellous addition to your cocktail the next time. You can also directly place cut cucumber chunks or slices in the freezer to use in place of ice in your gin drink.
Last, but not the least, cucumber works well with other flavours that are gin-complementary. Think basil, rosemary, dill, lemongrass, coriander and celery. Use a combination of these and elevate your gin cocktail instantly! As always, do remember to enjoy responsibly!