The Allure of the Swank Cocktail: The Cucumber Gimlet

Everything about me is swank!

I have swank hair. Swank toes. I dress really swank. I drink swank gin cocktails. In fact, I’m the swankiest. The trouble is I don’t really know what swank means. So I throw the word about willy-nilly. Hoping I sound, well… swank!

You see swank is one of those words that used to mean something. But it’s come in and out of fashion so many times that it no longer has a universal definition. It means whatever the user wants it to mean. There are a lot of words like that. Especially on food blogs. Awesome comes to mind. As well as amaaaaazing and delish.

We all use those words. I know. Me too. In fact today I have an awesome cucumber gimlet that is super swanky and amaaaaazingly delish. What makes it all these things and more is the fact that I took something familiar and gave it a modern twist. That’s right, a swanky modern twist in the form of a Cucumber Gimlet.

The classic Gimlet is made with lime and is a pale yellowish-green gin concoction of near perfect proportions. It’s sweet and tart with a slight herbal quality that comes from good gin.

It’s typically served shaken with ice and strained into a stemmed cocktail glass. Most of the “old-school” versions are made with Rose’s lime juice which is a super sweet ingredient with an interesting history all its own. But I like them less sweet and usually use fresh lime juice sweetened to taste with a bit of simple syrup.

Cucumber Gimlet

But today I am feeling a bit creative. So I am transforming the classic Gimlet with a bit of mint simple syrup and cucumber infused gin into a Cucumber Gimlet. I’m serving mine over rocks. Which both lightens it and makes it a super summery cocktail– ideal for poolside entertaining in some warm weather location like say, Palm Springs. Which is where I am and what I happen to be doing at the moment. GREG

Greg Henry Sippity Sup in Palm Springs with a cucmber gimletCucumber Gimlet serves 10 CLICK here for a printable recipe

  • 2 1/2 c thinly sliced cucumber, plus more for garnish
  • 4 1/2 c gin
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c mint leaves, lightly packed plus more for garnish
  • 2 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • lime slices and/or cucumber slices as garnish

Steep 2 1/2 cups cucumber slices in 4 1/2 cups gin, covered and chilled for at least 8 hours and up to 4 days. Strain; store indefinitely in the refrigerator.

Heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water over medium-high heat, stirring until dissolved. Add 1 cup mint leaves; remove from heat. Cover; steep 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain; discard mint. Refrigerate up to 2 months.

In a 2‑quart pitcher, stir gin, simple syrup and lime juice. Refrigerate.

To serve, pour individual servings into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with cucumber and/or lime slices and mint. Repeat for additional cocktails.

Source: Cucumber Gimlet adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Cucumber Gimlet