Cucumber Lime Saketini Cocktail


Cucumber Saketini

Another week has gone by and it’s time for our Cocktail O’ Clock guest post. This week’s recipe for Cucumber Lime Saketini Cocktail comes from Laura B. Russell, who is an esteemed food writer and recipe developer from Portland, Oregon. I first met Laura at the Nourished Food Blogger Conference, where I had hauled her awesome cookbook across the country just so she could sign it. (I had a total fangirl moment).

Her book, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, was the second gluten-free cookbook I had added to my collection (Pete and Kelli’s was the first). It’s chock-full of fantastic recipes–and the sole reason I can enjoy dumplings and Mandarin pancakes again. It’s one of those cookbooks on my shelf where some of the pages stick together, and the cover is slightly splattered…a sure sign of use. It is a veritable treasure trove of goodness, and every gluten-free cook should own it. You do, right? Laura has just finished her second cookbook, The Brassicas: Learning to Cook the World’s Healthiest Vegetables, and it’s coming out next spring.

Laura and I kept in contact over the past year and a half, and got to spend more time together in San Francisco at the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. It was there we discovered our mutual love for bourbon (when we ordered the same drink at the bar), and our mutual love for wood-fired pizza (something that most of us gluten-free folks gave up long ago). Luckily for Laura, she has a wood-burning oven in her backyard. And luckily for me, I’ll get to taste some of that pizza when we visit Portland this summer. We’ll make sure that Kyra brings dessert.

cucumber saketini cocktail 2


My approach to imbibing has always revolved around quality over quantity. (Well, since college anyway.) I would much rather enjoy one supremely well-made cocktail than multiple mediocre ones. Whiskey is my drink of choice—a rye Manhattan or bourbon over a single giant ice cube in particular—but with summer right around the corner I’m opting to share something a touch more refreshing, my Cucumber Lime Saketini Cocktail.

Another of my favorites is sake (pronounced SAH-kay, not SAH-kee). Sake is an alcoholic beverage brewed from polished rice. It is often referred to as “rice wine”, though the production process is actually more similar to beer than wine. Sake is gluten-free, though look out for added flavorings in some of the newfangled  (“raspberry”, etc.) versions. You’ve probably been offered warm sake in Japanese restaurants, but that’s generally low-end sake. If your only experience with sake has been a warm, “jet fuel” version, I urge you to explore it further. Sake is as diverse as wine, and can range from dry to earthy, rich, or light and fruity. Most premium sake is served chilled.

Look for sake wherever you buy wine, or for a larger selection try an Asian market. These brands are available nationwide and make great starting points if you want to investigate sake. Drink it chilled either on its own or in this light, simple cocktail.

Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo

Fukucho “Moon on the Water” Junmai Ginjo

Watari Bune Junmai Ginjo 55

G Joy

Eiko Fuji Ban Ryu


This Cucumber Lime Saketini Cocktail is light, pure and clean tasting and will go perfectly with that roasted duck my thirteen-year-old has been begging me to make…of course, served with a warm stack of Laura’s Mandarin pancakes. Cheers!


If you make this recipe, or any of my others be sure to tag me on Instagram, and use the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes!


Cucumber Saketini
Prep time
Total time
Considering my fondness for drinking good sake, I hesitated to mar the experience by adding flavors. But I also enjoy cocktails, and a faint hint of cucumber complements the sake without overwhelming it. Despite the touch of agave nectar, this is not a sweet cocktail, but one for grown-up palates.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1 cocktail
  • ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 (2-inch) segment peeled cucumber, plus 1 cucumber slice for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
  • ¼ cup medium-dry sake
  1. Put the lime wedges and then the cucumber in a cocktail shaker and smash them with a muddler or a fork. Add a handful of ice cubes, the agave and the sake. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.


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  1. That looks delicious! I haven’t had anything like this with sake, but I could see the cucumber going really well with a nice smooth sake. Thanks for the saketini recipe!

  2. Cucumber juice is very underrated! I’m sure it has a very clean flavor when you mix it with the ice and agave nectar. I’ll have to try this one as soon as my cucumbers come in.

    1. I just enjoyed one on Friday. It’s the perfect light refreshment for summer! Cheers!

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