Cucumber Basil Martini with Lemon

Spring in a glass… My Cucumber Basil Martini with Lemon beautifully balances a lemon and cucumber simple syrup with gin and muddled fresh basil leaves, and its pretty pale green hue makes it perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter!

2 cucumber basil martini cocktails side by side on a silver tray with crushed ice and cucumber slices.

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.

~~ Adrienne Cook

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Gin Martini Inspiration

Yes, I know. It’s a sappy quote.  😀 Given that it falls just 3 days prior to the first day of spring, though, it seems sweetly appropriate. What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with a lovely spring green cocktail?

And, this is your lucky day! I’ve linked up to a number of fabulous recipes from some of my awesome food blogger friends. You’re certain to find one – or more – that you simply cannot live without.  😀 You’ll find them just below the recipe for this Cucumber Basil Martini.

Lemon Cucumber Martini with Basil in a martini glass on a silver tray.

The process of creating a cocktail recipe, at least for me, is very similar to creating a new dish. A summery salad of cucumbers with lemon, basil, and olive oil is a favorite that comes to mind. I paired lemon and basil pesto in my Greek Lamb Pizza just last week. It just seemed like it would “work” in a cocktail as well…

Gin is my preferred spirit; I love its aromatics. So, aromatic gin, lemon and cucumber simple syrup, dry vermouth, and muddled fresh basil became a beautiful spring cocktail. Or St. Patrick’s Day cocktail. Really, though, I’d probably not refuse one any time of year!

📋 Ingredients Notes

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

  • lemon – You’ll need the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 2.
  • sugar
  • cucumber – Be sure to peel the cucumbers to avoid any bitterness in the skin.
  • gin – I love small batch craft gin that is heavy on herbal and aromatic notes. Use what you like!
  • white (dry) vermouth – I only recently discovered that white vermouth can vary in quality. However, in this recipe a basic dry vermouth like Martini and Rossi is fine.
  • fresh basil – You’ll need several big, fresh basil leaves.

🔪 Instructions

The lemon cucumber simple syrup takes about 30 minutes to make, and needs to be completely cool prior to using in the cocktail. However, it makes a cup of syrup, and that’s plenty for quite a few St. Patrick’s Lemon and Cucumber Martinis. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

  1. Make the lemon-cucumber syrup. Allow it to cool completely before using. Keep the syrup in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  2. Muddle the basil.
  3. Add all ingredients and a generous amount of ice to a cocktail shaker.
  4. Shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  5. Strain into martini glasses and garnish as desired.

NOTE: We prefer a dry (not sweet) cocktail, so the martini calls for just 1 shot of syrup for 2 cocktails. If you like it sweet, add a bit more.

Lemon Cucumber Martini

💭 Tips

Baby cucumbers are perfect in this martini. Their skin is not bitter, and they’re not seedy. You can skip peeling them when making the syrup.

If you’re averse to little green flecks in your cocktail, use a fine mesh strainer.


How long can I keep the lemon-cucumber syrup in the refrigerator?

Sealed up tight in a glass mason jar, it keeps for up to a month.

A tray of oysters on a bed of ice with mignonette and 2 cucumber basil martinis.
Spring cocktail hour at Andersen casa – Cucumber basil martinis and oysters with mignonette!

Part of our weekend ritual is to have cocktail hour, and that typically involves just a drink and good conversation with the hubs. I would be remiss in not sharing with you a perfect pairing though. This martini is fabulous with my Oysters With Bacon, Blood Orange, and Jalapeño Mignonette! The combination of flavors – and especially the lemon – complement the oysters beautifully. If you want to pull out “all the stops,” host a cocktail party, and feature them together. C’est magnifique!

St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away… What do you say? Yes, please! It’s party time… Be sure to check out the links below – savory, sweet, and boozy.  😉

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes.
2 cucumber basil martinis on a silver tray with ice.

Cucumber Basil Martini with Lemon

Spring in a glass… This gin-based martini beautifully balances a lemon and cucumber simple syrup with gin and muddled fresh basil leaves, and its pretty pale green hue makes it perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter!
4.84 from 6 votes

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cool Simple Syrup 20 minutes
Course Beverages, Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cocktails
Calories 178 kcal


Lemon Cucumber Simple Syrup

  • 2 lemons - juice both, zest 1
  • water - to equal 1 cup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cucumber - peeled, (see notes)


  • 4 ounces gin - see notes
  • 1 ounce lemon cucumber simple syrup
  • 1 ounce dry white vermouth
  • 8 large leaves sweet basil - well muddled


Lemon Cucumber Simple Syrup

  • Zest 1 of the 2 lemons, and set aside. Squeeze juice from both into a pyrex (or similar) measuring cup. Add water to equal 1 cup. Add to a small saucepan along with the sugar.
  • Bring just to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low. Do not boil! 
  • Add 12 – 1/2" thick slices of cucumber to the saucepan. Simmer (not boil) 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Add lemon zest. Cool completely. Strain into a jar, and refrigerate until ready to use. 


  • Muddle the basil.
  • Add gin, lemon cucumber simple syrup, vermouth, muddled basil and ice to a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well. Strain into glass. If you have an aversion to flecks of basil, use a fine mesh strainer.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 178kcal

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions:

🍀 16 More Scintillating St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Guinness Irish Stew Mini Pot Pies  from The Road to Honey

Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Orange Butter from What Should I Make For…

Get Charmed By Double Spice Chocolate Cookies from The Sweet Nerd

Shepherd’s Pie {with Guinness Lamb & Horseradish Mash} from Girl Heart Food

Sour Apple Tequila Cocktail – The Lucky Shamrock from No Spoon Necessary

Bangers and Mash with Guiness Onion Gravy from The Beach House Kitchen

Irish Spice Bag / Seasons & Suppers

Chocolate Stout No-Churn Ice Cream with Homemade Toffee Crumble / Ciao Chow Bambina

Lucky Charms Churros & Real Pistachio Pudding from The Busy Spatula

Raspberry Chocolate Milk Porter Pudding Shooters from Beer Girl Cooks

Pork Chops with an Irish Whiskey Sauce from Salt & Lavender

Colcannon Irish Mashed Potatoes from Kevin Cooks

Black Lentil Roasted Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie from Calizona

Baileys Chocolate Caramel Tarts from Sugarhero

Vegan Mint Chocolate Bark from Salted Plains

Boozy Irish Coffee Milkshake with Bailey’s Caramel Drizzle from Meg is Well

Follow all this deliciousness on Instagram with the hashtag #saintpatricksdayfeast2017! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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  1. oh mi goodness! This sounds so yummy – sharing on our Everything Coastal blog and facebook page today with all links back to you. Cannot wait to try with fresh Tomales Bay Oysters!

    P.S. Discovered you on PInterest and am now a new fan!

    1. Hi Caron! Do you guys live near Bodega Bay? We celebrated my Dad’s 75th birthday in Bodega Bay in 2013… LOVE the Tomales Bay oysters! I hope you make and enjoy the cocktail! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      1. We love Bodega Bay too! We actually live in a similar small coastal town about 30 minutes south of San Francisco on Hwy 1 , Half Moon Bay. No oysters, but lots of gorgeous beach, fresh dungeness crab and our famous pumpkin fields.

        1. I remember Half Moon Bay! I lived in Fresno as a teen and college student, and that was a part of the coast we’d drive to for a break from the summer heat… Also, my Dad was a grad student (a long time ago!) at San Jose State, and I think we used to camp close to Half Moon Bay. I love the northern California coastline!

  2. What a lovely cocktail for St. Paddy’s Day and any day! I do a virgin cucumber martini but I’ve never added basil. That sounds like a tasty addition. Thanks Tamara!

  3. Such a fantastic idea to have cocktail hour with the hubby every weekend. We’ve been trying to do that in addition to our monthly date nights.

    Absolutely loving this little beauty of a cocktail. I tend to go more for cucumber based cocktails when we go out because I find them light & refreshing. I love that you paired it with lemon and basil for a super sized refreshing experience. P.S. Those oysters look over-the-top amazing. I want to come to your happy hour.

    1. If you come in the next few weeks, I’ll fix you a platter! Yes, happy hour on the weekend has become an anticipated weekend ritual, and we’ve done regular date nights since our boys were little. I think it is so important in maintaining a long-term marriage!

    1. Thanks Rachelle! I love the name of your blog… I’m a beer girl too! We do home brew, and hang out at local microbreweries every chance we get!

    1. Thank you sweet Sonal! Photography is my biggest challenge as a blogger, so it makes me extra happy to get a comment on the photos 🙂 Yay for dry cocktails!

  4. Oh my goodness! This looks so refreshing! Love the combination of lemon, cucumber and basil 🙂 Pinned! Hubby and I love to have cocktail hour on the weekend too. Nice way to unwind and have a chit chat. Congrats on Drizly!! Happy weekend!

  5. I’m going to go ahead and say great minds think alike, because pretty green hued cocktail REPRESENT! 🙂 I am LOVING this martini, Tamara! But with cucumber, gin, lemon and basil, what’s not to like, right!? I could use a few of these right about now… and I just so happen to have ALL the ingredients! Woot woot! Can’t wait to give it a try! Cheers!

    1. Cheyanne, I enjoy your comments so much – not just on my own post. You’re enthusiasm is so lovely 🙂 I like to say it’s 5:00 somewhere… Cheers girlfriend! P.S. Yes, great minds definitely think alike! Our pretty pale green cocktails look and sound pretty darn appealing!

  6. I am a HUGE fan of creative and different simple syrups so this drink is totally 100% me! I love it’s freshness and color! It’s alright if I indulge before the holiday right?!

    1. Haha! I’d love some company Cindy… my husband is in Spokane! Come on over, I’ve got a mason jar of that delicious lemon cucumber syrup in the fridge 🙂