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This refreshing Cucumber Collins cocktail is a summery spin on the Tom Collins! It’s tart and bubbly, with fresh basil, lemon and gin.

Cucumber collins

Here’s a deliciously bubbly drink that’s calling your name (and ours too): the Cucumber Collins cocktail! It’s a summery spin on the Tom Collins, featuring cucumber and fresh basil, that peppery herb you might be growing in a pot or your garden. It’s got a tangy sweet flavor, a cucumber basil essence and a load of bubbles packed in that glass. Add some jingling ice cubes, and it’s a drink fit for flip flops and summer evenings.

Ingredients in a Cucumber Collins

This Cucumber Collins is a spin on a drink that makes our list of top greatest cocktails of all time: the Tom Collins! The first recipe for a Tom Collins was published in 1876. How’s that for historical? It’s stood the test of time and makes the list of the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning it has an official definition. This summer spin just adds cucumber and fresh basil. Here’s what you’ll need to make a Cucumber Collins:

Cucumber slices

Tips for muddling

This Cucumber Collins is perfect for summer, when you’ve got a prolific basil plant and summers best vegetable on hand. The main skill you’ll need for any cocktail that uses fresh herbs and fruits or vegetables is called muddling. What is it?

  • Muddling is gently mashing herbs, fruits or vegetables to release their juices, which helps the flavors incorporate into drinks. 
  • The key with muddling basil is a gentle touch. Don’t mash the basil to a pulp! Instead, gently tap it to release its oils.
  • Then add the cucumber and muddle again. Once you add the cucumber slices, you can muddle with a little more force. You’ll want to extract some of the cucumber juice, so you can give it a little more elbow grease.
  • Use a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon. Here’s the cocktail muddler we have.
How to muddle

How to make a Cucumber Collins: basic steps

This Cucumber Collins cocktail is simple to make: the hardest part is muddling the fresh ingredients! After that, it’s just a matter of shaking and straining. Here are the basic steps, or jump to the recipe below.

  1. Muddle the basil and cucumber in the cocktail shaker. See above!
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and ice, and shake! Add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup and shake it together in a cocktail shaker with 1 handful ice.
  3. Strain into a glass and top off with soda water. Strain the drink into a glass with ice cubes, then top with club soda. If you can, use clear ice! It’s crystal clear instead of cloudy like normal ice, and makes the drink look like it’s from a fancy bar.
  4. Garnish! This is what makes the drink! Add a few cucumber and basil slices.
Cucumber collins

More cucumber cocktail ideas

There are so many ways to mix up this vegetable into cucumber cocktails! Here are a few more ideas:

Print
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Cucumber basil cocktail

Cucumber Collins


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

This refreshing Cucumber Collins cocktail is a summery spin on the Tom Collins! It’s tart and bubbly, with fresh basil, lemon and gin.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 6 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 4 slices cucumber, cut 1/8″ thick, plus more for garnish
  • 2 ounces* gin
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces soda water
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the basil leaves. Add the cucumber slices and muddle again.
  2. Add the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice and fill the shaker with ice. Shake for 15 seconds until cold.
  3. Strain the drink into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with soda water and garnish with additional cucumber slices and basil.

Notes

*To convert to ounces, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Basil cocktail, cucumber basil cocktail, lemon basil cocktail

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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3 Comments

  1. I had one of these last night at an event and it was lovely. I have to host something for about 50 in 10 days and I wanted to offer 2 cocktails and 2 mocktails. This is definitely on the list!
    My question: any thoughts on how to serve this without a bartender? In other words, can I make a batch for 25-30 people. Have it in a pitcher, along with cucumber slices and basil leaves for them to help themselves? Do you think this would work?
    With thanks,
    Cameron

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I wouldn’t mix a full batch ahead because the soda water would lose it’s fizz. You could make a batch of the main ingredients in a pitcher and have people do equal parts mix and soda water (it would be slightly more watered down but still taste great).