There are some types of drinks that just seem to go best with certain seasons – whiskeys in the fall, or toddies when winter hits. When the weather heats up, it’s the tall light cocktails that take center stage. This makes tonic water one of your best friends for summertime cocktails (club soda is another, but that’s a story for another day).

Tonic may bring thoughts of the classic Gin & Tonic, and with good reason. A G&T almost screams summer (not that there’s anything wrong with a G&T in January, mind you). But tonic water also plays very nicely with vodka. In this case, tonic water and vodka get a kiss of flavor from cucumber and lime to create a clean, crisp drink that can help take the burn out of a summer day.

Recipe: Russian Clover cocktail


  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 4 oz. tonic water
  • 3 ¼” thick slices of cucumber
  • 1-2 lime wedges


  1. Muddle the lime and cucumber in the bottom of a heavy glass or shaker.
  2. Add the muddled fruit to a lowball glass with several large ice cubes.
  3. Add vodka and top off with tonic water.
  4. Stir lightly to mix.
  5. Serve garnished with a cucumber slice and/or lime twist.

Number of servings (yield): 1