Cool off with one of these light and refreshing summer cocktails. They combine cucumber, watermelon and the refreshing flavours of mint and lime to create a fresh twist that's perfect for the summer heat. Make by the glass or prepare a pitcher when entertaining.
Year round I tend to gravitate to cucumber cocktails. In the summer months I could live off watermelon. I love lime juice squeezed on just about everything and think fresh mint is pretty perfect. Combine these favourites of mine with agave and ginger and you have three amazing summer cocktails. They're refreshing, aren't too sweet and are easy to make.
Cheers to sumer!
CUCUMBER MINT GIMLET
Cucumber and mint add a refreshing twist to the traditional gimlet.
- 2-inch slice of peeled cucumber, halved and then quartered
- 10 mint leaves
- 1½ teaspoons light agave nectar or simple syrup
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1½ ounces gin
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber, mint and agave nectar until the cucumber offers no more resistance.
- Fill the shaker with ice, then pour in the lime juice and gin. Put the lid on your shaker and shake until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled, about 20 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass. Garnish with a tiny sprig of mint.
WATERMELON MINT COOLER
The perfect way to utilize the season's sweetest melon.
- 3 large mint leaves
- 1 slice peeled ginger
- 1 chunk watermelon
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz vodka
- .5 oz fresh lime juice
- Ginger ale
- In a shaker, muddle the mint, ginger, watermelon and simple syrup
- Add the vodka and lime juice, and fill with ice
- Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice
- top with ginger ale and garnish with a mint leaf
CUCUMBER GINGER FIZZ
Perfectly light and refreshing.
- 1 1/2 C vodka
- 2 English cucumbers; 1 peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 left whole
- 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 bottles (750ml each) sparkling water
- 1/2 to 1 C ginger simple syrup
- Put vodka and chopped cucumber in a nonreactive container. Refrigerate 1 hour. Strain; discard cucumber. Refrigerate covered, until ready to use, up to two days
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining cucumber lengthwise into wide strips; discard seeds.
Fill eight tumblers with ice. Add 3 cucumber strips and 3 tablespoons infused vodka to each glass. Squeeze, then drop, a lime wedge into each. Top with sparkling water; stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons syrup.
Photography: Karyn Kimberley