Cool Cucumber + Basil Gimlet

Another cocktail recipe? You bet your sweet ass. 

garnish your cocktail as you wish–then tag me so I can see!

So I know it looks like I am boozing it up this summer—cocktail recipe after cocktail recipe—but let me explain. The Man is an eater, not a drinker. So while he is away, I have become a self-proclaimed mixologist. Besides, I can’t possibly eat all those delicious food blog recipes by myself, right? It is out of respect for his boundaries that I am making these cocktails in his absence. (That’s what I keep telling myself.)

This Cool Cucumber + Basil Gimlet recipe is so refreshingly delightful yet so easy. Simply grate + pour + shake + strain + smack + float + garnish. 

beverage napkins compliments of my oak leaf hydrangea

You will start by making cucumber juice. Grate a peeled cucumber into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Let it sit a spell, then mash it down in there really well to squeeze out all that deliciousness. You will be soooo tempted to drink that cucumber juice. Who am I to tell you not to? Just make sure you have another cucumber on hand to do it again for the recipe. 

My gin of choice for the Cool Cucumber + Basil Gimlet is Hendrick’s because it has notes of cucumber and botanicals, perfect complements for this cocktail. Most any gin will do as long as it is not harsh. 

BTW…I apologize for the redundancy of “cool cucumber” in the title.  Of course cucumbers are cool. Obv. I mean, they have their own similes, for goodness sake. But because I am all about effective branding, I added the word cool to remind everyone in Hotland that this should be THE go-to cocktail for cooling down before you start to melt into the pavement. Anything to prevent that. Melting into the pavement is 

Before garnishing with the basil, give it a firm yet gentle smack and then float it on top of the cocktail. After it released some of its oil, I cut it into ribbons (chiffonade), just for funzies. Regardless of how you choose to garnish, I highly recommend the spank.

Bottoms up!


If you make this Cool Cucumber + Basil Gimlet, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below, pin it, and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we can celebrate together!

Cool Cucumber + Basil Gimlet (for 2)

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, plus slices for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar  
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, plus some for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces Hendricks Gin
  • crushed ice

for the cucumber juice

Grate the cucumber into a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Push on cucumber to extract its juice. One medium cuke will yield about ½ cup, enough for 2 cocktails. 

Juice be made up to 4 days ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Shake before using.

for the cocktail

Place basil leaves + sugar + lime juice in a cocktail shaker.  Muddle the basil to release its oil. Swirl until sugar has dissolved. Add gin + cucumber juice + some ice and shake until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty, about 15-20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Smack reserved basil leaf between your hands over the glass to release its oils, then float on the cocktail’s surface.  Garnish with cucumber, if so desired, and serve.


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