The Eastside Cocktail is a refreshing gin-based drink made with cucumber, mint, lime juice, and simple syrup. It’s well-balanced, a little bit tart, and a perfect sipping cocktail for happy hour at home.
The Eastside Cocktail may not be as famous as its counterpart, the Southside Cocktail, but I think it’s got an edge on the Southside. Both cocktails are riffs of the Gimlet, which is a three-part cocktail with gin, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. A Gimlet is simple, balanced, and absolutely delicious. However, this recipe steps it up a notch with the addition of fresh cucumber and mint flavors.
If you’re a gin fan looking for a simple, refreshing cocktail, any of the aforementioned cocktails will totally hit the spot for you! Let’s make this one to start.
Eastside Cocktail Ingredients
- 2 slices Cucumber
- 7 Mint Leaves
- 2 oz. Gin
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup*
- 1 oz. Lime Juice fresh
*Simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar. The easiest way to make it is to combine water and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat, then stir until the sugar is dissolved in the water. I recommend doing 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water for a small batch of simple syrup!
How to Make An Eastside Cocktail
- Carefully place a small (5 oz.) coupe glass in the freezer.
- Muddle two cucumber slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.*
- Add the mint leaves, gin, simple syrup, and lime juice.
- Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Secure the lid, and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds to chill the cocktail and slightly dilute it.
- Remove the coupe glass from the freezer. Double strain the cocktail into the glass.
- Garnish with a cucumber slice and fresh mint leaf.
*Muddling the cucumber by itself releases the liquids and flavor of the cucumber more easily. Some recipes call for muddling the cucumber and the mint leaves at the same time; I advise against this, as the mint flavor is most prominent if it is shaken with the ice rather than muddled. Mint can produce a bitter taste when muddled, mainly because the leaves are aggressively torn and ripped apart. The oils of the mint leaf will release in a more natural way if they are not muddled, but rather shaken with ice.
What Gin Should I Use?
Eastside Cocktail History
The Eastside was created at Libations in New York City by bartender George Delgado in 2004. The recipe gained a lot of attention after it was taken to Milk & Honey (also in New York), where it was altered slightly and developed into the straight-up version that this recipe represents.
Eastside vs Southside Cocktail
Both cocktail recipes are riffs on the gimet, and both cocktails have mint infused into the flavor of the drink. The Eastside goes a step further and introduces freshly muddled cucumber alongside the mint, adding a hit of fresh, cooling notes to the flavor.
The Southside Cocktail is the same recipe, just without the cucumber.
Can I make an Eastside Cocktail with Vodka?
Sure, but it won’t be considered an Eastside. I always encourage everyone to adjust cocktails (and any recipe!) to fit their tastes, but once you alter the ingredients of a cocktail recipe, it isn’t the same drink. If vodka is your preference, I do encourage the substitution, though! Just try it with gin first and see what you think. 🙂
Thirsty for more? Check out these cocktails:
- Man O’ War Bourbon Cocktail with Luxardo Cherry Juice
- Winter Jasmine Cocktail
- Paper Plane Cocktail
- Blackberry Bramble Cocktail Recipe
- Blackberry Bourbon Smash
If you make the Eastside and love it, I would love it if you left a rating and comment below! If you have questions about any of the ingredients or the process, feel free to shoot me an email so I can get back to you ASAP. Tag me on Instagram if you post it, too! Cheers!
- 2 Cucumber Slices
- 7 Mint Leaves
- 2 oz. Gin London Dry or Hendrick's
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1 oz. Lime Juice fresh
- Muddle cucumber slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
- Add mint leaves, gin, simple syrup, and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
- Double strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass*. Garnish with a cucumber wheel and mint sprig.