Eastside Cocktail

The Eastside Cocktail is a refreshing gin cocktail, putting the bright flavors of cucumber and mint at the front and center. It’s the perfect summer pick-me-up with just the right amount of elegance!

A cocktail in a stemmed glass garnished with cucumber spirals and fresh mint, set against a white backdrop with a cocktail shaker in the background.

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About this Eastside Cocktail recipe

The Eastside Cocktail is a close relation of the Southside Cocktail, which itself is basically a minty version of the classic gimlet, a sweet drink of gin and lime juice.

The main difference here is the simple addition of cucumber. With fresh mint, botanical gin and cool cucumber, the East version has a delicious flavor combination with everything we love about refreshing and light spa water.

The hints of cucumber truly set this cocktail ahead of many others — it’s just such a light and fun drink and it has all the makings of the perfect party beverage. You could serve it at a summer wedding cocktail hour, a bridal shower and so much more.

So if you’re looking for a subtle variation from the classic citrus flavors of a mint Southside Cocktail, this Eastside Cocktail is just the thing! Serve it with some caprese skewers for the best cocktail hour.

More gin cocktails: Elderflower Rose GimletElderflower Gin CocktailFrench Gimlet

Why you’ll love this recipe

The Eastside Cocktail is a welcome twist to the monotony of happy hour. You’re going to love it because…

  • You only need five simple ingredients to make this tasty cocktail. Easy peasy!
  • This fancy cocktail is a breeze to make! You don’t need much equipment and the step by step process is really easy to follow. Any beginner could make this drink.
  • The Eastside Cocktail is very versatile and easily customizable. Change things up however you want!
Two elegant cocktails garnished with mint and cucumber spirals, served in stemmed glasses with a cocktail strainer and jigger in the background.

History of the Eastside Cocktail

This exciting cocktail was created in 2004 by George Delgado at the now-closed bar Libation in New York City’s Lower East Side. The drink was originally topped with soda water, but later was popularized without the bubbly addition by Christy Pope of the bar Milk & Honey .

The Eastside cocktail is a spin on the classic Southside cocktail with a few minor tweaks. The south version is made with fresh mint, gin, lime juice and simple syrup. Served in a coupe glass, the Southside tastes like a mint gimlet.

Like many cocktails, the Southside’s history is a little foggy. The name may be from Chicago’s South Side neighborhood or the Southside Sportsmen’s Club on Long Island.

Tools and Glassware

To make this drink, you’ll need a cocktail shaker and a muddler, as well as a jigger.

You’ll also need a knife and chopping board to slice up the cucumber and the lime. Make sure that you have a citrus juicer to make fresh lime juice as well.

You’ll also need coupe glasses to serve the beverage!

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A stemmed glass containing a clear cocktail garnished with a cucumber ribbon and fresh mint, set on a white marble surface.

Ingredients

These few simple ingredients are all the you need to make this cucumber cocktail:

  • cucumber
  • mint leaves
  • London Dry gin
  • lime juice
  • simple syrup
  • mint sprig, for garnish
  • cucumber ribbon, for garnish

Substitutions & variations

Shake things up with one of these variations:

Southside cocktail: Skip the cucumber to make the original version of this drink.

Change the flavors: While this recipe calls for fresh lime juice, you can also use fresh lemon juice!

Eastside mocktail: Swap the gin for a zero-proof spirit that emulates the flavor of gin. It’d be a lovely and refreshing mocktail.

Skinny version: Make this recipe sugar-free by using a sugar-free simple syrup replacement.

Instructions

Follow these simple step by step instructions to make this delicious cocktail:

A hand using a wooden muddler to crush limes in a clear, textured glass on a white surface.
A person pouring a clear liquid into a textured glass tumbler.

Add gin, cucumber and fresh mint leaves to a cocktail shaker and muddle together. Then allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes.

A person pouring a drink from a golden jug into a textured glass on a white surface.

Next, add the lime juice and simple syrup to the shaker.

A hand holding a golden cocktail shaker over a glass with a mosaic pattern, containing a light yellow liquid and green ingredients.

Then fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until well combined and the ingredients are chilled through.

Pouring a clear cocktail into a glass with a gold rim from a cocktail shaker.
A hand placing a garnish of curled cucumber on the rim of a cocktail in a stemmed glass.

Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass, then garnish with mint and a cucumber ribbon.

A hand garnishing a cocktail with cucumber and mint in a gold-rimmed glass, set against a white background.

Food pairings

This yummy gin cocktail would pair well with a charcuterie board or an apple pecan salad. It’d be a wonderful dinner cocktail with chicken piccata too.

For dessert, you could pair this Eastside cocktail with a slice of lemon loaf or some lemon drop cookies.

It’s also a wonderful drink to serve with appetizers like marinated cheese.

Two glasses of cocktails garnished with cucumber spirals and mint, alongside a gold cocktail shaker and strainer on a marble surface.

Tips & tricks

Check out these few tips for success so that your cucumber cocktail turns out absolutely perfect:

  • Fresh-squeezed lime juice and muddled fresh mint leaves give this cocktail the most refreshing flavor! Use fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
  • Don’t over-muddle the mint. Just bruise the leaves gently to release their aromatic oils without pulverizing them. This will give your cocktail the best flavor!
  • Allow the gin and mint mixture to rest for a few minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. Giving it some time allows the flavors extra time to meld together and will enhance the overall taste of your cocktail.
Top view of a cucumber cocktail garnished with cucumber slices and mint, served in a round glass with gold accents.

FAQ

What gin is the best?

A herbaceous gin like Hendrick’s works really well here, but it really comes down to personal preference when choosing what gin you like best. If you need some help deciding, check out my Gin 101 guide for all the best tips and tricks.

What can I use if I don’t have a muddler?

The blunt end of a wooden spoon is a great substitute for a muddler! You could also use one end of a rolling pin.

Two elegant cocktails garnished with cucumber ribbons and mint leaves, presented in stemmed glasses on a marble surface.

More summer cocktail recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A cocktail in a stemmed glass garnished with cucumber spirals and fresh mint, set against a white backdrop with a cocktail shaker in the background.

Eastside Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
This light and fresh cocktail is a summertime favorite! Throw together the Eastside cocktail next time you want a refreshing drink.
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ingredients

  • 3 slices cucumber
  • 8 leaves mint
  • 2 ounces London Dry gin
  • 1 ounce lime juice freshly-squeezed
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 sprig mint sprig for garnish
  • 1 ribbon cucumber or slice, for garnish

instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle together gin, cucumber and mint leaves. Allow to rest for a few minutes.
  • Add simple syrup and lime juice to the shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Garnish with a mint sprig and a cucumber ribbon.
  • Serve and enjoy responsibly.

notes

No muddler? The blunt end of a wooden spoon is a great substitute for a muddler. You can also use a fork. 
Use fresh ingredients. If possible, fresh-squeezed lime juice and muddled fresh mint leaves give this cocktail the best, most refreshing flavor. 
Don’t over-muddle the mint. Just bruise the leaves gently to release their aromatic oils without pulverizing them. This will give your cocktail the best flavor!
Allow the gin and mint mixture to rest for a few minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. Giving it some time allows the flavors extra time to meld together and will enhance the overall taste of your cocktail.

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 cocktail

amount per serving:

Serving: 4ounces Calories: 219kcal Carbohydrates: 24g Protein: 0.3g Fat: 0.1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g Sodium: 19mg Potassium: 98mg Fiber: 0.4g Sugar: 22g Vitamin A: 94IU Vitamin C: 10mg Calcium: 15mg Iron: 1mg
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