A refreshing anytime cocktail—the Cucumber Gimlet! 5 simple ingredients come together to upgrade a classic cocktail into something fresh and flavorful.

rocks glass filled with a light yellow-colored drink and topped with a cucumber ribbon

Up or on the Rocks

Classic gimlet recipes are served up, in a martini or coupe glass. But this isn’t a classic recipe, so why serve it that way? If you want to keep things traditional, strain the mixture into a martini or coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel or cucumber ribbon.

Cucumber Gin Gimlet or Vodka Gimlet 

The gimlet, thought to have originated as early as the 18th century, has been made with gin for most of its history. The 1980s and 1990s saw a surge in vodka gimlet popularity, but since then the gin gimlet has remained the most popular. Either spirit works well here so use what you like. Gin will add a botanical flavor while vodka will be smoother.

For years now the gimlet has regularly been made with fresh lime juice. But for decades the Gimlet cocktail was made with sweet bottled lime mix called Rose’s lime cordial. You can still find the cordial, which dates back to the 1860s.

If you opt to make a gimlet using Rose’s lime juice mix, skip the added sweetener (agave, honey or simple syrup) as the mix is already sweetened. I recommend using one ounce of lime cordial to two ounces vodka or gin. 

Ingredients in a Cucumber Gimlet

English cucumber: I recommend using English cucumber instead of regular pole cucumbers. They’re more mild in flavor, nearly seedless and have a thinner skin.

Gin or vodka: either work well in this cocktail so use what you like. With such a short ingredient list I recommend using a premium vodka or gin. For vodka I like Belvedere or Ketel one and for gin Beefeater, Plymouth Gin, Tanqueray, or Hendrick’s are great options. 

Fresh lime juice: skip the bottled lime juice and squeeze a few fresh limes yourself, it really makes all the difference. 

Sweetener: simple syrup is traditional, but you can also use agave or honey to make this naturally sweetened.


  • Make a cucumber basil gimlet by muddling a few basil leaves with the cucumber chunks.
  • Make a fresh cucumber mint gimlet by muddling a few mint leaves with the cucumber chunks.
  • Add a splash of St. Germain to the cocktail to make a cucumber elderflower gimlet. 

More Cocktail Recipes to Love

If you give this cucumber gimlet recipe a try, be sure to let me know what you think! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @zestfulkitchen on Instagram. I love hearing about and seeing your ZK creations in the wild!

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rocks glass filled with a light yellow-colored drink and topped with a cucumber ribbon

Gin or Vodka Cucumber Gimlet Recipe

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Drink/cocktail
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This refreshing take on the classic gimlet cocktail features fresh cucumber, your choice of vodka or gin, lime juice, and agave or simple syrup. Simple and refreshing!


  • 45 (1-inch) chunks English cucumber + more for garnish
  • 2 ounces gin or vodka
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 12 teaspoons agave syrup, honey* or simple syrup
  • 1 ½ ounces club soda


In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber chunks until completely smashed. Add gin or vodka, lime juice and agave, fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until chilled. Adjust sweetness with additional agave as needed.

Strain drink into a rocks glass filled with ice; top with club soda. For a more traditional presentation, strain cocktail into a martini glass or coupe glass.

Garnish with skewered cucumber ribbon.

To make a cucumber ribbon, use a vegetable peeler to peel lengthwise down the cucumber, you’ll need to make a few peels until you get a nice thick peel from the center of the cucumber. Fold cucumber ribbon back and forth into an accordion, then skewer with a cocktail skewer or toothpick.


* if you use honey, shake the cocktail ingredients together first without ice until the honey is dissolved into the mixture. Add ice and shake until well-chilled. 

For an herby cucumber gimlet, muddle a few leaves of basil or mint with the cucumber.


  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 160
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0g

Keywords: cucumber gimlet, cucumber vodka gimlet, cucumber gin gimlet

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. Hi, do you have any tips on making some of this ahead of time? Wanting to make it for 12 guests for a dinner party. Thank you!