Our first H.O.A.G.Y (Help Out a Gal/Guy, Yeah?): Cucumber Gimlet
Of course we take requests here at A Bourbon Gal!
My girlfriend Dirty Martini wrote me, “I can’t make a decent cucumber gimlet. Help!”
Now, first of all, my gal Dirty Martini has MAD cocktail skillz, so I’m sure her gimlet is pretty tasty, but she is always looking for a more-perfect beverage. And if you’re going to spring for some Very Good Gin (which she does, like Hendrick’s) you want it to be awesome.
Back in the day—meaning Prohibition, gin’s sparkly heyday—a gimlet was usually made with equal parts gin and sweetened lime juice. Another popular gin cocktail, the Gin Rickey, used almost equal parts gin, club soda, and lime juice. Post-WWII, gimlet recipes using lime juice with vodka and either powdered sugar or simple syrup often replaced gin-based cocktails.
Nowadays, if you order a gimlet at a bar you will get a multitude of options: gin or (usually) vodka, lime or another citrus (lemon, grapefruit), and any number of vegetal, herbaceous, and/or fruity additions. A harbinger of the summer party season, super-refreshing cucumber gimlets usually contain vodka, cucumber juice or purée, lime, and sweetener (sugar or syrup). With some pretty cucumber pinwheels in a tall narrow pitcher, cucumber gimlets are lovely made in bulk for quick and easy serving at your next garden party.
Cucumber Gimlet (makes one)
I like using those tiny thin-skinned “cocktail” cucumbers now available in most produce sections. Just a gentle wash and you are good to go: no peeling off the tough bitter skin or scraping out seeds needed. I also like how agave nectar distributes evenly through the cocktail with a nice finish.
1 “cocktail” cucumber, thinly sliced (reserve 2-3 thin slices for garnish), muddled furiously in the bottom of your cocktail shaker (really- juice the hell out of it)
1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice (about ¼ lime)
½ tsp. agave nectar
2 oz. gin
4-5 cubes ice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake until very cold and frothy. Strain into a martini glass containing 2-3 cubes fresh ice. Garnish with thin cucumber slices.