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The Cucumber Basil Gimlet

Picture of Dr. Jay Aguda

Nothing like a summer cocktail in the winter…at least, a So Cal Winter. (Hey, please don’t hate what you don’t appreciate. As I write this, it’s 84 degrees outside – in mid-January! Anyway, this recipe will whisk you right into the middle of summer with always-fresh cucumber and basil.

The Gimlet is a classic cocktail. Made with gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, it’s believed that this refreshing cocktail was invented by British sailors some time in the 1700s as a way to prevent that pesky disease called Scurvy. And it makes sense too, doesn’t it? Refreshing citrus is one great way of getting that Vitamin C down into your belly.

What I love the most about this particular version of the cocktail is that it tastes hearty. Yeah, you know, like…not thin. Because of the intense muddling of fibery Cucumber and basil, you get a thicker liquid than a basic Gimlet. (Think creamy, instead of juicy — pulpy, but not like orange juice pulp–the good kind that makes you say, “Mmm, that’s good, what else is in that?”)

In this recipe, I swap out simple syrup for a little more umph — agave syrup — its thicker, more viscous and a tad sweeter. Agave comes from the same plant that gives you Tequila — so we are sweeting in the right direction here.

So, enough chit chat, let’s get to makin’ some!


  • Fresh Cucumber
  • 3-4 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2 ounces of The Botanist Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Agave Syrup
  • 3 lime wedges
  • Soda



Rocks or Old-Fashioned


In a shaker tin drop in 2-3 slices of cucumber, 3 fresh basil leaves, 2 lime wedges, 1/2 ounce of Agave Syrup, and a splash of soda.

Muddle the concoction thoroughly, 1-2 minutes. Try hard to disintegrate everything.

Add 2 ounces of The Botanist Gin to your shaker tin.

Using a Y-peeler, take long, lenthwise, thin slices of the cucumber and use them to line the sides of a rocks glass with the sheets. Carefully, place a large ice cube in the center of the glass.

Add a scoop of ice into your shaker tin. Seal and shake vigorously for 1-2 minutes (don’t skip out on a vigorous shake!)

Pop the tin and double strain into your rocks glass.

Pop some basil leaf and garnish.

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