This refreshing and icy cold cucumber and mint gin martini is perfect for a hot and humid summer’s day.
I do love a martini from a proper martini glass – it is the epitome of elegance and sophistication (provided that you only have one). I’ve spent many a happy hour with friends catching up over an excellent martini.
For me the perfect martini needs to be freezing cold, made with a good dry – not too scented – London gin, and preferably be very strong. Keep the gin in the freezer please – none of this shaking over ice nonsense.
To make a lighter, and more refreshing summertime martini I’ve lightened the recipe up by blending gin from the freezer with some frozen cucumber, a sprig of mint and a squeeze of lemon. I have a power blender that made quick work of the chunks of frozen cucumber, but you can also make this with a chilled cucumber and gin from the freezer.
For a lighter and more delicately flavoured drink you can partially, or completely, peel the cucumber before lobbing it into the blender, I prefer the bitter notes from the skin so left it whole.
My beautiful new martini glasses are from the House of Fraser glassware range, who have a selection of cocktail glasses. These were £35 (currently on offer at £17.50) and are elegantly thin, stand nearly 18cm tall, and hold a generous 280ml which makes them suitable for using to serve food as well as drinks. Happily they are dishwasher proof which is useful if you serve a creamy pudding in them, but they are delicate so hand-washing is to be recommended.
Five facts about gin
Gin was brought to the UK by soldiers returning from Holland and the Thirty Years war in the seventeenth century. Gin’s ancestor is the Dutch spirit genever which is also flavoured with juniper, but much sweeter than gin.
Old Tom is the link between genever and gin. After almost dying out, it’s making a return.
Gin production in England grew sharply after William of Orange cut duty at the end of the seventeenth century. But quality improved and quantity declined in the mid eighteenth century thanks to legislation. London distillers developed a dryer version; the original London dry gin.
London dry gin has to be predominantly flavoured with juniper, have a very low concentration of sugar (if any), with the flavours imparted by botanicals during distillation.
Plymouth gin differs from London in that it’s slightly sweeter, and has more focus on earthy flavours. It’s a favourite of the Navy, and is available in 57% Navy Strength.
- 1 cucumber - cut into chunks and frozen or peeled
- 250 ml dry London gin - from the freezer
- Juice half a lemon
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 2 tsp sugar - optional
- To Serve
- slices Lemon or cucumber spring of mint
- Sparkling water or tonic water
Place the cucumber, gin, lemon juice & mint into a blender and whizz until smooth.
Add the sugar if needed to taste, and whizz again.
Serve immediately in martini glasses and garnish with the lemon or cucumber slices and a spring of mint.
Top up with a little sparkling or tonic water if desired.
Cucumber & Mint Martini recipe commissioned by House of Fraser who also sent me the set of glasses. All opinions our own.
Fuss Free Flavours encourages you to drink mindfully. For advice on responsible drinking please visit Drinkaware.