An elegant drink that takes a bit of brutality to make, the American Psycho is a gin buck cocktail that will slay your thirst.
I don’t know about you, but when the temp starts getting turned up I find myself craving a tall quencher of a cocktail to refresh my body, and my tolerance for the madness of the world.
Few things can cool you off in the heat of summer like a gin buck can. Gin, lemon and ginger ale go together like an axe and video tapes. Smash up some cucumber slices into it, add St-Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, Wild Hunt Bitters, a crack of black pepper, and you've got a killer of a refreshing drink.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the layers of delicate botanical and vegetal notes. Let the cool waves of this gin buck's flavor gently guide you to your inner zen.
What is a Gin Buck Cocktail?
A gin buck hails from the “buck” cocktail family which is refreshing and crisp with citrus and ginger. The gin buck is an easy cocktail recipe template with endless opportunities for variations.
The basic components for a gin buck are spirit, citrus and either ginger ale or ginger beer. Flavor wise, it's a little bit similar to a Tom Collins, but the addition of ginger gives it a spicy and aromatic kick, that also mellows out the tartness of the citrus.
What's the Difference Between a Buck and Mule?
Both bucks and mules are made with spirit, citrus, and ginger. While a buck can be made with any citrus, a mule is traditionally made specifically with lime. The most popular type of buck, by a long shot, is the Moscow Mule, but it is just one of many ways to combine spirit, citrus, and ginger into a harmony of refreshing flavor.
Can I make it non-alcoholic?
Absolutely! Ginger ale or ginger beer and citrus make an undeniably excellent start to a non-alcoholic cocktail. If you have an elderflower syrup like Belvoir's Elderflower Cordial and a non-alcoholic gin (green tea works too) you can still experience the sensory journey of the American Psycho gin buck cocktail complete with it's floral, forest, and green garden flavors.
Cucumber Gin Buck Ingredients
We suggest you use organic ingredients whenever possible. Here's what you'll need to make this cucumber gin buck recipe:
As this gin buck cocktail is full of botanical ingredients, choose a high quality gin with similar characteristics to emphasize the delicate floral notes of St-Germain and the subtle herbal complexity of the Yellow Chartreuse. We recommend Hendrick's Gin as the cucumber in its flavor profile adds a fresh and crisp vegetal quality that mirrors the cucumber in the gin buck beautifully.
St-Germain is an elderflower liqueur that imparts a subtle elegance of floral and slightly fruity notes, increasing the refreshing quality and complex flavor of this gin buck. If you're trying to make this gin buck into a mocktail, we suggest using an elderflower syrup like Belvoir's Elderflower Cordial instead.
Yellow Chartreuse -
This liqueur is the sweeter and less divisive cousin of Green Chartreuse. Despite being an herbaceous powerhouse, Yellow Chartreuse keeps the gin buck balanced. It builds on the layers of flavor by tempering the sweet, bitter, citrus, and spice.
Lemon Juice -
Ginger and lemon are one of the most addictive flavor pairings. The zesty brighness of fresh squeezed lemon makes a gin buck sing with refreshing flavor. By fresh squeezing your lemon with a citrus press, oils from the lemon skin will get into the juice and add even more texture and depth to the flavor of your gin buck.
Fresh Cracked Pepper -
Fresh pepper adds an extra kick to this gin buck, and brings balance and dimension to the floral and vegetal elements of this cocktail. Ground pepper tends to taste flat and boring when it's sat out for more than a few days, so we do not recommend substituting fresh cracked pepper with store bought powdered pepper.
The taste of cucumber is instantly refreshing and slightly sweet with a fruity and floral quality to it. It's no surprise that of all the vegetables out there, only the cucumber manages to sneak into the cocktail world on a regular basis.
Because this gin buck calls for freshly muddled cucumber, we highly recommend organic cucumber that hasn't been sprayed with any pesticides.
Ginger Ale -
Ginger is an essential component of the buck cocktail recipe. In the American Psycho we use ginger ale to match the light and refreshing flavors of this cocktail.
Ginger ale adds a whimsical memory of sipping on a soda to ease a bellyache. Using ginger beer would push this drink into a more bitter and spice forward direction.
Wild Hunt Bitters -
The forest flavor of these bitters adds a touch of woodsy fern, green apple, and tender greens to this floral gin buck. Four droppers is enough to infuse the drink with the magic of the wilderness but feel free to add more if you want to turn up the volume on the herbaceousness.
Don't know how, to measure bitters? Check out our blog on all things bitters here: What Are Bitters?
1 oz Non-Alcoholic Spirit
.75 oz Belvoir Elderflower Syrup Mixer
.75 oz Lemon Juice
4 Droppers/Dashes Wild Hunt Bitters
4 Slices of Cucumber
A few grinds of fresh cracked pepper
Ginger Ale, to top
Toss cucumbers slices into a shaker, crack fresh pepper over the slices and muddle.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the ginger ale. Ice and shake.
Double strain into a Collins glass filled with ice.
Top with ginger ale and garnish with a pepper dusted cucumber slice.
Standard Drinks: 1.1