Nothing quite says spring like the sip of a gin and tonic in the first warm rays of sunshine after the long dark winter. Infusing the drink with the fresh, bright flavor of cucumber is a cheap and easy way to elevate this classic highball into an even more refreshing and desirable cocktail. Cucumbers have well-documented hydrating and restorative effects on the body (think cucumbers over your eyes at the spa), so naturally, it’s the perfect drink to celebrate the dawn of spring and the return of fair weather.
The first time I enjoyed a Cucumber Gin and Tonic was actually on the sundrenched deck of Sheen Falls Lodge in Kerry County, Ireland. After a long, damp winter in Ireland far from my family and friends, my folks flew to Ireland to visit me right as the weather changed for the better. As the sun broke through the clouds for the first time since I landed in the country four months before (at least it felt like that), the taste of fresh cucumber, ripe lime, and bright gin accented the afternoon perfectly. I associate the taste with renewal, family, and the promise of sunshine.
When I get ready to enjoy these with family and friends as the season turns warm and the world opens back up, that sun-soaked afternoon lingers in the back of my mind. However, I also know that there are new memories to be made and plenty more afternoons to spend laughing in the light with this cocktail by my side. Spring’s promise of life and laughter is certainly something to celebrate. As the Irish say “sláinte,” and we say, “cheers.”
Cucumber Gin and Tonic
Prep Time: 5 min
- 2 OZ GIN (PRAIRIE ORGANIC GIN)
- 1 OZ FRESH LIME JUICE
- 1 CUCUMBER SLICED LENGTHWISE (SEE PRO TIPS)
- 1 BOTTLE GOOD TONIC WATER
- 1 LIME WEDGE
- 1 SPRIG CILANTRO (OPTIONAL)
- Slice the cucumber lengthwise into a ¼ inch wide strip for maximum flavor without taking up too much of the glass. Not only does this cut make the drink look refreshing and unique, but the longer cut will infuse the drink with more cucumber flavor than a traditional disk of cucumber. A sharp knife will help you get the best cut, but a good vegetable peeler can work as well.
Prairie Organic Spirits make their organic spirits with Minnesota corn from local farmers, and they distill their small-batch gin and vodka to taste. As one of the few 100% certified organic liquor’s on the market, they invest heavily in growing crops the old-fashioned way. They also donate 1 percent of their profits to advancing the education of the next generation of organic farmers. Their award-winning sustainable spirits are an easy and affordable way to drink better cocktails.