Cucumber Martini

Cucumber martinis

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
275 Calories
1g Fat
24g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 275
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 5g
Calcium 56mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This cucumber martini is cool and refreshing and bursting with the taste of cucumbers. The vegetable is muddled before being shaken with vodka and vermouth, allowing for the mild melon flavors to come through and complement the liquor beautifully.

To give this cocktail an extra dose of cucumber, you can make a batch of cucumber vodka ahead of time and use it in place of the plain vodka. This recipe is for a single cocktail but is easy enough to double or triple—it all depends on how big your cocktail shaker is. It is better, however, to mix up less at a time than try to make one giant batch where the ingredients won't get properly shaken.

Ingredients

  • 3 cucumber slices (cut thick)
  • 2 1/2 ounces vodka (or gin)
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 cup ice
  • Garnish: 1 to 3 cucumber slices (cut thin)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cucumber martini ingredients
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  2. Put the thick cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler or a wooden spoon to muddle, or crush, the cucumber slices a bit to bring out more of their flavor.

    Drop cucumber in shaker
    The Spruce
  3. Pour in the vodka and the dry vermouth.

    Pour vodka in shaker
    The Spruce 
  4. Swirl just a bit to combine, then add the ice.

    Drink in shaker
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  5. Put the top on the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. (It's important that you shake for this length of time.) This not only mixes the ingredients but also melts some of the ice into the cocktail to soften its edges and blend the flavors.

    Put top on shaker
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  6. Strain the mixture into a martini glass.

    Strain cocktail
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  7. Garnish with 1 to 3 thin slices of fresh cucumber.

    Add cucumber
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  8. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Tips

  • Common garden cucumbers or hothouse cucumbers are perfectly fine in this cocktail, but if you have another type of cucumber on hand, this is a great place to use them and appreciate their slightly different flavors. Lemon cucumbers, in particular, are a fun choice. 
  • If you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can use a jar with a screw-top lid.
  • Like all martinis, these pack a punch. The first one may go down easy, but watch out for the second one: it will make a third seem like a good idea, which it is most definitely not.

Variations

  • Add a grind or two of freshly ground black pepper; it adds a lovely bit of heat to the cool cucumber, as well as a floral note to the final cocktail.
  • For a nice, herbal touch, include a few fresh green herbs in the shaker. Consider mint, thyme, or basil; chervil is an unexpected twist, and dill, if used sparingly, is tasty, too.
  • Citrus and cucumber go very well together; add a twist of lemon or lime along with the thin cucumber slices.

How Strong is the Cucumber Martini?

Any type of vodka martini is not considered a strong drink. With an 80-proof vodka and a typical dry vermouth, this one mixes up to about 28 percent ABV (56 proof). That means two martinis are stronger than a straight shot of vodka, so take it slow and think before mixing up the next one.

Is a Vodka Martini Really a Martini?

The original martini recipe includes gin, not vodka, and martini purists will state that if this cocktail is made with vodka it is not a true martini. You may see the drink labeled as "vodka martini" when it's made with this liquor. Vodka offers a smoother taste while gin brings botanical flavor and complexity to the martini.