Walk into any modern cocktail bar and you’ve got a good chance of seeing a drink with cucumber on the menu. And for good reason. Light and vegetal, totally distinctive, cucumber is an ideal companion to numerous spirits. It’ll cool down a spicy margarita of tequila, lime, and a little jalapeño; it’s a clean backdrop for an herbal cocktail of gin and mint.
At home, cucumber drinks can be a little cumbersome, as fresh cucumbers require either muddling or juicing. Cucumber liqueurs aren’t exactly a thing; neither is retail cucumber juice. So Fever-Tree’s new Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic is a godsend. With a bright, vivid cucumber character, it’s ideal for cocktails. It’s also on the lighter side—somewhere between a classic tonic and a soda—so if you tend to find tonic too sweet and overpowering, you may well prefer this more restrained version.
We’ve been sipping the ice-cold cucumber tonic on its own, but it really shines in cocktails. Give these three simple drinks a try.
Easy: Cucumber Vodka-Soda
There’s a reason the vodka-soda is so enduringly popular, haters be damned. It’s light, it’s free of sugar, it’s hard to mess up. But if you’re looking for a drink that’s a little more flavorful, try vodka with this light cucumber tonic instead. Lemon wheels add just a hint of acidity. Suddenly you’re drinking a fully-fledged cocktail, but one that’s no harder to make than a vodka-soda. Perfect for parties.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine an ounce and a half of vodka and three ounces of cucumber tonic. Stir briefly, and garnish with several thin lemon wheels.
Intermediate: Dry Cucumber G&T
Of course, you could just combine gin and the cucumber tonic and call it a day. (If you do: 1.5 ounces of gin to 4 ounces of tonic is our preferred ratio.) But for a drink that’s a little drier and a little more complex, we’re introducing dry vermouth—gin’s classic partner in a martini. The result is a cocktail as bright and lively as a classic G&T, but more substantial; worth sipping slowly, not throwing back.
Instructions: In a rocks glass with ice, combine an ounce and a half of gin, ¾ ounce dry vermouth, and two ounces of cucumber tonic. Stir briefly, and garnish with a thin slice of cucumber, cut on the bias, and a lime wedge.
Advanced: Cucumber Mojito
Cucumber and mint are a perfect pair, and in this mojito rendition, we’re sparing you the trouble of smashing up cucumber (and dealing with its seedy pulp later). Instead, use cucumber tonic to top off this cocktail of mint, rum, and lime.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine eight mint leaves, an ounce and a half of white rum, half an ounce of lime juice, and half an ounce of simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled, then double-strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with two ounces of cucumber tonic. Garnish with a big sprig of mint and a thin slice of cucumber, cut on the bias.
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