Note from Kirsten: Summer is almost here, and we're excited to get outside and enjoy the outdoor experience. A cucumber martini is a great companion if you're lounging in a DIY hammock, or you can serve this drink to guests from an all-terrain beverage cart. But first, let's get to this refreshing recipe. Take it away, Todd!
Here's a recipe for a refreshing martini that a bartender and I came up with years ago. It was featured on the summer drink menu at his restaurant for some time, and has remained a hit in my home—especially in the warmer months.
I’m a fan of simple drinks that don’t have too much going on. With just three ingredients, this cocktail is a nice treat that fits the bill. Borrowing from the names of two of the three ingredients (cucumber, gin, and elderflower liqueur), we named it the “St. Hendrick’s” martini. Let’s get to it.
Step 1: Cut Cucumber
For this cocktail, we’re using English cucumber, which has a mild, almost sweet taste that doesn’t require removing the skin or the seeds. Dice 3” to 4” of an English cucumber into small pieces, then put them into your shaker.
Cut a paper-thin round of cucumber for garnish.
Step 2: Muddle
Using a muddler, muddle the cucumber in the bottom of your shaker. This releases the flavor of the cucumber and some of the juices. If you don’t have a muddler, that’s OK—there are plenty of ways to improvise. All you really need is something to mash it down. Juicing a cut length of cucumber works, too.
Step 3: Add St-Germain
Using a bar measure, add ¾ to 1 oz. of St-Germain—a wonderfully flavorful liqueur made from elderflower blossoms.
Step 4: Add Hendrick's Gin
Next, add 2 oz. of Hendrick’s Gin. The botanicals in Hendrick’s give the drink an additional hint of cucumber, which adds to the flavor, but any gin will do. A local favorite is Kur from Wildwood Spirits.
Step 5: Add Ice
Add ice cubes to your shaker to a level just above the liquid ingredients.
Step 6: Shake
Now it’s time to shake! Put the top on your shaker and shake for several seconds. Be careful not to shake for too long; the ice will dilute the drink as it breaks apart and melts.
Step 7: Pour
Now that the drink is shaken and chilled, remove the cap and pour the contents into a martini glass.
Step 8: Garnish
Garnish by floating a thin slice of cucumber on the top of the drink.
Cucumber Mocktail Alternative
Today’s cocktail includes alcohol. For those of you who prefer something non-alcoholic, try this cucumber ginger mocktail from 40aprons.com. Make a full batch by bringing two cups of sugar (or 1 ¾ cups of agave nectar) and water to a boil, then pour over a sliced medium cucumber and 10 slices of 1/4" fresh ginger. Let stand for two hours, then strain, chill, and (in a glass) mix 1 1/2 oz. of the mixture with 5 oz. of soda water. Garnish with a cucumber slice.
I find this drink very refreshing. The cool cucumber is complemented by a floral sweetness which makes this the perfect summer cocktail. Cheers!