Mediterranean Chic: Cucumber, Kalamata and Rosemary Tonic

The inspiration for this cucumber, kalamata and rosemary tonic came from a visit to the middle eastern restaurant Smoke and Honey – a fantastic London gem located on Great Portland Street.  I was impressed by their imaginative drinks menu, including an interesting gin and tonic made with kalamata olives.  Until then, I’d only considered using olives in Bloody Mary or martini recipes, and it got the creative cogs turning in my head.  

Similar to a dirty martini, the kalamata olive brine is used in this mocktail to add a slightly salty and savory touch without overwhelming freshness and herbaceousness of the other ingredients.  

The crisp cucumber, bright lemon, and aromatic rosemary give the drink a very mediterranean feel.  It would be a perfect accompaniment to a smoky barbeque and classic greek salad.

Serves 1
Preparation time: 15 mins


  • 1 oz. (30 ml) cucumber juice (approx. 3 inches of cucumber)
  • ½ oz. (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 oz. (150 ml) tonic water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) kalamata olive brine
  • ½ sprig of rosemary
  • Ice
  • A ribbon of cucumber and 2-3 circular slices to garnish (optional)
  • Kalamata olives to garnish (optional)


  • Jigger or measuring spoons
  • Citrus juicer
  • Muddler
  • Cocktail spoon
  • Immersion hand blender
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Stemmed gin and tonic glass (or wide bowled wine glass)


  1. First, make the cucumber juice.
  2. Peel and chop the cucumber.
  3. Use the hand blender to liquidize the cucumber to a fine pulp.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to separate the juice from solids. Reserve the juice.
  5. Next, assemble the mocktail.
  6. In the gin and tonic glass, muddle the rosemary and lemon juice.
  7. Add the cucumber juice and olive brine.
  8. Fill the glass with ice and the cucumber slices.  Then, top with tonic water.
  9. Use a cocktail spoon to gently mix the ingredients together.
  10. Garnish with a ribbon of cucumber and a couple kalamata olives pierced on a cocktail stick.

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Cucumber, Kalamata Olive and Rosemary Tonic FAQ

Can I use a regular blender instead of a hand blender to make the cucumber juice?
Yes, you can use any type of blender to make the cucumber juice.  I use an immersion hand blender because it’s easy to assemble and clean which makes it perfect for these types of small jobs.  The important thing is to blend the cucumber until it reaches a fine pulp to extract as much juice as possible from the vegetable (well, technically a fruit).

How many cucumbers do I need for the cucumber juice?
You will need approximately 3 inches of cucumber for each serving of this mocktail.  Depending on the size of the cucumber, it may be a little more or a little less.  

Can I make the cucumber juice in advance?
Yes, you can make the cucumber juice in advance and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two days.  This will help speed up the mocktail assembly time considerably.

Can I substitute the olive brine with something else?
The olive brine adds a unique savory and salty flavor to the mocktail.  However, you can omit it from the recipe if you prefer.  

Can I use a different type of tonic water?
Yes, you can use any type (or brand) of tonic water that you like.  In this recipe, I used regular tonic water, but you could substitute it for a diet version too.  You could experiment with different flavored tonics, but bear in mind that the rest of the ingredients already contribute a lot of flavor to the mocktail.

How do I muddle the rosemary and lemon juice?
To muddle the rosemary and lemon juice, use a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon) to gently press down and twist the herb into the bottom of the gin and tonic glass.  This process helps to release the aromatic oils and flavors from the rosemary.

Can I adjust the garnish?
Of course!  The cocktail stick of ribboned cucumber and kalamata olives looks quite elegant, but you can choose to present the mocktail any way you like.  Typically, drinks are garnished with one or more of the ingredients used in the recipe – so, you could use wheels of lemon, cucumber or more rosemary too. Feel free to get creative!

Can I substitute the kalamata olives for different olives?
Yes, you can use other types of olives for the brine and garnish but the flavor of the mocktail may vary from the original.

Did you make this?  Tag me @mightymocktail or use the hashtag #mightymocktail!

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