Gin Cooler

$1.60 each

So, from what I hear there’s a mad heat wave hitting most of the country this week… What’s a girl to do? Mix up some cocktails and throw a porch party! If you can’t escape the heat, make the most of it.

Gin (a clear liquor with hints of juniper, lemon, and other spices) was practically made for lemonade. The Tom Collins, a cocktail made of carbonated lemonade and gin, has been popular for over a hundred years. So, it’s gotta be good, right? But, could it be better? What could I add?

Mint is always a great additive to summer drinks but unless you have a mint plant, it’s just not economical. And although I would have loved the refreshing texture of carbonated water here, I have a really really hard time paying $1 for a liter of club soda. So, I went with straight lemonade.

So what’s the next in line for summery drink additives? CUCUMBER!! Yes, slice the cucumber as thin as possible and the light, fresh flavor infuses almost instantly into the drink. The alcohol in the gin also helps the cucumber effuse into the drink.

This could also easily be made in a pitcher for a large crowd (or a few really thirsty friends).

Gin Cooler

Gin Cooler

gin cooler
Prep time
Total time
Total Cost: $1.60
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup water $0
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbsp) lemon juice $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar $0.04
  • 1.5 oz (1 shot) gin $1.24
  • ¼ med. cucumber $0.20
  1. Combine water, lemon juice, and water in a glass and stir until sugar is dissolved. The sugar dissolves best in room temperature water rather than cold, so don’t add ice yet.
  2. Add the gin and 5-6 super thin slices of cucumber. Fill the glass to the top with ice and sip slowly.


If you want to be fancy and use a cocktail shaker, you’ll need to make a simple syrup as regular sugar does not dissolve well in cold liquids. To make a simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small pot. Stir and heat over a medium flame until the sugar is fully dissolved. The simple syrup can be kept refrigerated in a tightly sealed container indefinitely. When you’re ready to make the cocktail, combine ice, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup (same amount as lemon juice) in a shaker. Shake for about 30 seconds and then pour over ice.

I love summer!


  1. Mint plants are virtually indestructable and you can grow them almost everywhere, so if you like mint, a plant is a great investment!

  2. I am seriously sitting in front of the computer drinking a version of your above drink and realized how great of an addition cucumbers are! Next drink gets some cucumbers! Cheers!

  3. You’re a genius!

  4. Hey thank you for this chill recipe of summer……..

  5. This was absolutely perfect for during the heat wave, and now that it has cooled down a bit, I’m still making it when friends come over! So easy, so cheap, and I have a mint plant on my window sill, so I just cut a sprig and throw it in the glass. Delicious! Thanks for another great recipe.

  6. I am making this today!

  7. I think Hendrick’s Gin would be the perfect one to use for this since it’s got that cucumber flavor. Love it in a gin & tonic with cucumber slices.

  8. Jessa says:

    Beth – my roommate and I needed some fresh mint for a drink recipe, and we found some at a small organic farmers’ co-op nearby that lets you pick your own from their plants – for the same amount we’d normally pay $2.98 for in the grocery store, we paid 64 cents! I highly recommend looking for a place like this for fresh herbs if you don’t want to grow your own! It’s fantastic!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for posting this, especially just in time for the weekend!

  10. Ashley H. says:

    Jars not jaws! What a funny typo.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have a soda maker that I got for my birthday so I might add some fiz to this but I saw a great idea in some random magazine. You get the mason jaws with screw tops, fill with your drinks and fruit, and then leave it in an ice bin for your guests to drink at their whim! It looks so pretty and gives the fruit time to absorb since you make it ahead of time! :)

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