There is something so delicate and light about a good cucumber martini. Not as abrasive or heavy feeling as a briny dirty martini, the spicy cucumber martini is a beautiful refreshing light cocktail with just a taste of heat for a balanced flavor you'll want to sip on slowly.
There's something about a chilled martini; meant to be sipped slowly as you sit back and enjoy quiet conversation. It's the sort of delicious drink that seems timeless and ideal for warmer 5 o'clock happy hours.
A classic martini is gin and vermouth, but in this version, we're using vodka. So, technically, yes, it's a cucumber vodka martini. However, I find my gin goes well with tonic, and I like my martinis with vodka.
Not a fan of overly sweet libations, the simple ingredients in this mature cocktail promote a balance of flavors from the jalapeno and fresh bright herbs muddled and combined with the spirits. The blend is what makes it the best cucumber martini you've sipped!
What you need for this cucumber vodka martini
- Jalapeno - for heat.
- Mint - fresh mint leaves. Mint plants are commonly found around the end caps of the produce department and I find they are often within a dollar of just buying the prepackaged leaves. The plant will last as long as you care for it and I find the fresh light herb a wonderful excuse to pop into a variety of cocktails like this crazy refreshing julep or strawberry crush. Alternatively, basil is an amazing option for this cocktail as well.
- Vodka - We're testing the Bellion Vodka, a new NTX technology, which is designed to be easier on your liver and is sweetened, meaning you need to use less sugary additives or simple syrup to a cocktail.
- Dry vermouth
- Cucumber Juice
- Chilled martini glass - Pop your glasses in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before serving to help the cocktail remain cold while you sip.
- Cucumber slices and additional fresh mint for garnish.
How to make this martini
Refined yes, but also incredibly easy to make! The simplicity of this recipe is what has us making it over and over again (and feeling rather dapper while doing so).
- Start by muddling the jalapeno and mint in a cocktail shaker.
- Then, add ice to the shaker.
- Next, add the vodka, vermouth, and cucumber juice
- Now for the fun part. Secure the lid and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Finally, garnish and serve.
Tips for Garnishing with Cucumber
To make a cucumber garnish you can thinly slice Persian cucumbers into small thin rounds, about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. If you make them too thin they won't stand on the glass. Then carefully, using a pairing knife, add a slit from the edge of the skin to the center of the round and slide it onto the rim of the glass.
Alternatively, warn the drinker that this has a little hit. Slice a long thing skin off of the cucumber and weave it onto a toothpick, starting with a sprig of mint, then interlacing a jalapeno.
Muddling, or using a muddler to press and twist (mash) the leaves of the mint helps to release the oils and flavors in the leaves, making the cocktail more aromatic and flavorful. Simply shaking the leaves whole with the liquor will result in some flavor, but for a deeper better blend, muddling first is essential.
Try this tip when adding mint to homemade lemonades or iced teas as well for a better flavor.
Do I need really need a cocktail shaker?
Technically, as much as I adore Bond, a classic martini shouldn't be shaken. It should be stirred. Martini purists everywhere cringe at this misinformation. But luckily, this isn't a classic cocktail and there are pros to using a cocktail shaker. For specificity, we recommend a Cobbler-style shaker for this cocktail as it comes with a strainer that is handy.
However, we do use a cocktail shaker for this recipe. Shaking with ice in a cocktail shaker cools the liquid, dilutes the ice to soften the cocktail, and helps minimize the need to muddle too much.
Feeling inspired? Check out some more of my favorite cocktail recipes:
For the Spicy Cucumber Martini
- ½ Jalapeno, stem and seeds removed sliced into rings
- Fresh Mint
- 3 oz Vodka
- 1 oz Vermouth
- 2 oz Cucmber Juice
- Fresh Mint
- Cucumber Slices
Make the Cucumber Martini
- Add the jalapeno slices and mint to a cocktail shaker and muddle.
- Add ice to the shaker.
- Pour in the the vodka, vermouth, and cucumber juice
- Secure the top of the shaker and shake vigorously until the cocktail shaker has chilled over.
- Carefully strain the liquid into a chilled martini glass, making sure no ice cubes, mint or crushed jalapeno fall in.
Garnish and Serve
- Add a sprig of fresh mint and cucumber slices to the cocktail for garnish.
- Serve cold.
If you are feeling bold, serrano peppers are an amazing kick as a substitute for jalapeno.
The best vodka for martinis is a smooth vodka. One that doesn't burn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 34gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information provided is an estimate from nutritionix.com. For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.
Bellion Vodka generously provided a bottle of their vodka for me to sample and test. However, this post is not sponsored and all thoughts and opinions continue to remain my own. More information on Bellion Vodka and NTX technology can be found on their site.