Cucumber Collins Cocktail Drink

Cucumber Collins

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

Want a fabulous cocktail? Try making this Cucumber Collins recipe! It’s a tasty drink, full of fresh ingredients, and easy to assemble.

Cucumber Collins Recipe

Experience the essence of spring with this easy-to-make Cucumber Collins recipe! It's a refreshing mix of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water, and fresh cucumber.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

191 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • oz simple syrup
  • 3-4 slices of fresh cucumber
  • 3-4 oz soda water, to top
  • Ice cubes
  • Cucumber slices, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Collins Glass
  • Muddler
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes. Give it a stir to chill it and set it aside.
  • Muddle Cucumbers: In your shaker, add 3-4 slices of fresh cucumber and 1 oz fresh lemon juice. Muddle well to extract the flavor from the cucumber.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Add ⅔ oz simple syrup.
  • Add Gin: Measure and pour 2 oz Gin into the shaker as well.
  • Shake: Fill the shaker with ice, close it and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
  • Strain: Take the Collins glass and use the cocktail strainer to remove any excess water inside. Then, using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the shaken drink into the ice filled glass.
  • Top with Soda: Top off with 3-4 oz soda water.
  • Stir: Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, stir gently to combine.
  • Garnish: Garnish with cucumber slice(s) and serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: If you're out of gin, vodka is a good substitute but keep in mind that the flavor profile may lack in botanicals.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Bottled lemon juice can work in a pinch if you don't have fresh lemons, but it may slightly affect the freshness of the cocktail.
  • Simple Syrup: You can make your simple syrup at home with equal parts sugar and water. For a low-sugar alternative, try using agave nectar or stevia.

Making a Pitcher of Cucumber Collins:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of gin, 8 oz of fresh lemon juice, and 8 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, muddle 24-32 cucumber slices. Then combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into individual ice-filled Collins glasses, top with soda water, garnish with a cucumber slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic gin's botanicals.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular gin, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This cocktail is already vegan-friendly as it doesn't contain any animal products. However, if you're making simple syrup, use vegan-friendly sugar (some sugars are processed using bone char).

Nutrition Facts

Calories
191
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
30
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
16
g
5
%
Fiber
 
0.2
g
1
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Potassium
 
73
mg
2
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
17
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
12
mg
15
%
Calcium
 
11
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Cucumber Collins Cocktail Drink

Cucumber Collins Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Experience the essence of spring with this easy-to-make Cucumber Collins recipe! It's a refreshing mix of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water, and fresh cucumber.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 191

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • oz simple syrup
  • 3-4 slices of fresh cucumber
  • 3-4 oz soda water - to top
  • Ice cubes
  • Cucumber slices - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Collins Glass
  • Muddler
  • Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes. Give it a stir to chill it and set it aside.
  • Muddle Cucumbers: In your shaker, add 3-4 slices of fresh cucumber and 1 oz fresh lemon juice. Muddle well to extract the flavor from the cucumber.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Add ⅔ oz simple syrup.
  • Add Gin: Measure and pour 2 oz Gin into the shaker as well.
  • Shake: Fill the shaker with ice, close it and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
  • Strain: Take the Collins glass and use the cocktail strainer to remove any excess water inside. Then, using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the shaken drink into the ice filled glass.
  • Top with Soda: Top off with 3-4 oz soda water.
  • Stir: Using a bar spoon or long stirrer, stir gently to combine.
  • Garnish: Garnish with cucumber slice(s) and serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: If you're out of gin, vodka is a good substitute but keep in mind that the flavor profile may lack in botanicals.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Bottled lemon juice can work in a pinch if you don't have fresh lemons, but it may slightly affect the freshness of the cocktail.
  • Simple Syrup: You can make your simple syrup at home with equal parts sugar and water. For a low-sugar alternative, try using agave nectar or stevia.

Making a Pitcher of Cucumber Collins:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of gin, 8 oz of fresh lemon juice, and 8 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, muddle 24-32 cucumber slices. Then combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir well.
  • Serve: Strain the mixture into individual ice-filled Collins glasses, top with soda water, garnish with a cucumber slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic gin's botanicals.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of the regular gin, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This cocktail is already vegan-friendly as it doesn't contain any animal products. However, if you're making simple syrup, use vegan-friendly sugar (some sugars are processed using bone char).

What is a Cucumber Collins?

A Cucumber Collins is a gin-based cocktail made of fresh cucumber, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda water. This refreshing drink is relatively easy to make but requires some attention to detail to achieve the right balance between its different components.

The process involves muddling fresh cucumber in a shaker before adding the remaining ingredients (except for the soda), shaking it well with ice, then straining it into an ice-filled glass and topping it with soda water. The challenge lies in ensuring that neither the sweetness of the sugar syrup nor the tartness of lemon juice overpower each other or mask the subtle freshness added by cucumbers.

This cocktail is a variant of classic Tom Collins, which traditionally uses only gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda water without any additional flavorings like cucumber.

A side shot of a Cucumber Collins cocktail in a highball glass on a wooden coaster placed on a yellow placemat with a bowl filled with cucumber slices, in front of a black background.

What is a Cucumber Collins made of – The ingredients

These are the ingredients you need to create a Cucumber Collins:

  • Cucumber: Adds a refreshing, crisp flavor to the cocktail. It also gives a vibrant green color.
  • Gin: The drink’s base spirit provides a robust and juniper-forward flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Balances the sweetness and adds a tangy citrus note.
  • Simple Syrup: Sweetens the cocktail and helps blend the flavors.
  • Club Soda: Adds carbonation and dilutes the drink slightly, making it more refreshing.

Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water, cucumber slices and orange laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Cucumber Collins?

Discover the process of making a Cucumber Collins with our simple guide:

1
<p>Make sure your collins glass gets chilled.</p>

Make sure your collins glass gets chilled.

2
<p>Muddle 3 or 4 cucumber slices in a shaker, adding a refreshing flavor to the drink.</p>

Muddle 3 or 4 cucumber slices in a shaker, adding a refreshing flavor to the drink.

3
<p>Add 1 ounce of lemon juice, adding a sour and zesty flavor.</p>

Add 1 ounce of lemon juice, adding a sour and zesty flavor.

4
<p>Then, gently crush the cucumber slices and lemon juice together using a muddler or the back of a spoon. You want to muddle just enough to break down the cucumber, but not so much that the cucumber becomes a pulp.</p>

Then, gently crush the cucumber slices and lemon juice together using a muddler or the back of a spoon. You want to muddle just enough to break down the cucumber, but not so much that the cucumber becomes a pulp.

5
<p>Measure and pour 3/4 of an ounce of sugar syrup, balancing the citrus notes of the lemon juice.</p>

Measure and pour 3/4 of an ounce of sugar syrup, balancing the citrus notes of the lemon juice.

6
<p>Finish with 2 ounces of gin, providing the alcohol base to the cocktail.</p>

Finish with 2 ounces of gin, providing the alcohol base to the cocktail.

7
<p>Fill your shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill your shaker with ice cubes.

8
<p>Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.</p>

Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.

9
<p>Strain your mix into your chilled collins glass over fresh ice.</p>

Strain your mix into your chilled collins glass over fresh ice.

10
<p>Top off the glass with soda water, donating the effervescent touch.</p>

Top off the glass with soda water, donating the effervescent touch.

11
<p>Use a long spoon or a cocktail stirrer to combine everything well.</p>

Use a long spoon or a cocktail stirrer to combine everything well.

12
<p>Finally, garnish with a cucumber slice for an artistic finish.</p>

Finally, garnish with a cucumber slice for an artistic finish.

History and Origin of the Cucumber Collins

It all started with the classic Tom Collins cocktail. Jerry Thomas, the “father of American mixology”, wrote this recipe in 1876.

The original Tom Collins used gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. People loved this simple but tasty drink. The name probably came from a joke popular in New York in 1874 called the “Tom Collins Hoax.” In this prank, someone would tell you that a man named Tom Collins was saying bad things about you at a local bar. When you went to confront him, you’d find out there was no such person.

In the 21st century, bartenders started playing with the classic Tom Collins recipe. They created different versions of it, including the Cucumber Collins. This modern take on the traditional drink adds crushed cucumber for a fresh and excellent taste for hot weather.

No one knows precisely where or when the Cucumber Collins was born. But it popped up during the early 2000s when bartenders were trying to develop new spins on old drinks. Adding cucumber not only makes the drink taste better but also makes it look more attractive.

A Cucumber Collins cocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass on a beige surface surrounded by Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.

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FAQ

How many calories does a Cucumber Collins contain?
A standard serving of Cucumber Collins contains approximately 150-200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the specific ingredients used and their quantities.
What is the alcohol strength of a Cucumber Collins?
The alcohol strength of a Cucumber Collins is typically around 10-15% ABV (Alcohol By Volume), which translates to 20-30 proof. This makes it a relatively light cocktail in terms of alcohol content.
What type of alcohol is used in a Cucumber Collins?
The primary alcohol used in a Cucumber Collins is gin. The gin's botanical flavors pair well with the drink's fresh cucumber and citrus notes.
In what kind of glass is a Cucumber Collins served?
Traditionally, a Cucumber Collins is served in a highball or Collins glass. These tall glasses allow for plenty of ice and mixers, enhancing the refreshing nature of the drink.
What does a Cucumber Collins taste like?
A Cucumber Collins offers a refreshing blend of flavors. The gin provides a botanical base, while the cucumber adds a crisp, fresh note. Adding lemon juice brings acidity and brightness, balanced by the subtle sweetness from simple syrup.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a Cucumber Collins?
The typical ratio for a Cucumber Collins is 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 3/4 parts simple syrup, and 3-4 slices of fresh cucumber. This mixture is then topped off with soda water to taste.
How is a Cucumber Collins served regarding ice and presentation?
A Cucumber Collins is usually served over ice in a tall glass. It's often garnished with additional cucumber slices for an extra touch of freshness.
Is a Cucumber Collins a good summer drink?
Absolutely! The Cucumber Collins is an excellent choice for a summer cocktail. Its refreshing cucumber and citrus flavors, combined with the cooling effect of the ice, make it perfect for sipping on a hot day.
Can I make a non-alcoholic version of a Cucumber Collins?
You can easily make a non-alcoholic or "mocktail" version of a Cucumber Collins. Omit the gin, add more soda water, or use a non-alcoholic substitute.
How did the Cucumber Collins get its name?
The Cucumber Collins is a variation of the classic Tom Collins cocktail, traditionally using gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda water. Adding fresh cucumber gives this version its distinctive name and flavor profile.

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