Gin and Tonic Cucumber Pickles

This is our 5th allotment year. Every year we have a glut (ie more than we can possibly ever eat) of at least one thing. The first glut of 2020 will be... *drumroll*... cucumbers. I plan to make Bread and Butter Pickles. But first things first. Before I make the sensible, traditional pickles, I had to make Gin and Tonic Cucumber Pickles.

Gin and Cucumber Together

Gin and Cucumber is not an unfamiliar pairing. There are some gins out there which include cucumber in their botanicals list. That's how well they go together. And you sometimes see a Gin and Tonic served with cucumber. So Gin and Tonic Cucumber Pickles. What's not to like? 

It certainly beats grating cucumbers and chucking them in everything you can think of. Chicken and cucumber risotto anyone? (Actually it was really nice...)

Grated Cucumbers

This recipe for Gin and Tonic Pickles uses one Cucumber. One more lovingly home grown cucumber used up. Yay. 

Refrigerator Pickles

This is a Refrigerator Pickle Recipe. That means it isn't preserved in the traditional pickle sense, and isn't intended for long term storage. These kinds of pickles tend to use vegetables that are nice to eat raw, since they are not cooked. So if you want to have some Gin and Tonic Cucumber Pickles for Christmas, you'll need to make another batch in December. Which is no great hardship really, is it.

You make these pickles, leave them in the fridge undisturbed for about 2 days for the flavours to infuse, and then you can start munching your way through them. The cucumbers will stay good in the fridge for about a month.

Fitting your Cucumber sticks in the Jar

You are going to cut up your cucumber into sticks and fit them into a preserving jar. Yes I know you don't really need to do this, but the pickles look so appealing when you do. When I started trying to stand the sticks up around the edge I realised I needed to be creative. Hot tip: put your cucumber end into the middle, and surround it with sticks. Then pull it out and fill the middle with more sticks.

Like this. 

Gin and Tonic Cucumber Pickle Recipe

You're welcome.

Juniper Berries

Every gin includes Juniper Berries in its botanicals, hence including some in this recipe. Dried Juniper Berries are widely available.

Of course gin is also included in this recipe. And these are boozy pickles and not suitable for underage young people. Or grown up people who don't like gin. In case you didn't know.

The Jar

I used a 550ml/18oz clip top preserving jar. You can use some other kind of half litre jar, just be sure it seals properly as you will need to shake the contents before you add the tonic.


  • 1 full sized cucumber, or 3-4 smaller ones
  • 1 lime cut into 5 slices, plus half a lime to squeeze into the jar
  • 6 dried juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, ground
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 120ml Gin
  • 1 small can of tonic water (mine was 100ml, I didn't use it all)
    1. Slice up your cucumber into lengths which will fit comfortable in your jar (remember they will need to be completely submerged, so they need to be slightly shorted than your jar)
    2. Line the jar with the cucumber sticks, perhaps using the end of a cucumber to keep them in place (see image above) if they keep falling over.
    3. Fill the hole in the middle with more cucumber sticks.
    4. Push the lime slices down the sides of the jar.
    5. Sprinkle the salt, sugar and juniper berries on the top of the cucumbers.
    6. Pour the gin over the top (not the tonic yet).
    7. Close the jar and shake it a few times so the sugar, salt, gin and berries surround the cucumber sticks. 
    8. Open the jar and pour tonic over the cucumbers until they are completely submerged. 
    9. Close the jar and put it in the fridge.
    10. 2 days later your Gin and Tonic Cucumber Pickles will be ready to eat. Consume within a month.

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