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Cucumber Lemon Mint Water

+ Quick Tips to Make It Taste Really Great!

~ Looking for a refreshing way to make water BETTER? So you actually want to drink more of it … or so it looks more exciting when you set out a pitcher at parties? Then you’re gonna love this Cucumber Lemon Mint Water recipe … and all our fully tested tips and tricks for getting the delicious balance of flavors exactly right! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Make Ahead    Vegan (and Vegetarian)    Gluten Free    Paleo  

Several glasses of the finished recipe arranged with extra ingredients scattered nearby and also added as garnishes to the water.

Three of the most refreshing flavors I can think of: cooling cucumber, bright lemon, and fresh mint.

Add them to crystal-clear, icy-cold water … and you’ve got a truly revitalizing, thirst-quenching glass of bliss. {Ahhhhhhhhh}

No boring, plain tap water for you! This is so much better.

As in, you’ll actually want to drink more water and meet that daily quota we all strive for! You’ll even wanna show this off at parties, to elevate that ho-hum water pitcher in the corner up to headliner status. (I mean, seriously … little details like gorgeous, gourmet water add up to “hostess with the mostess” accolades!)

And it seems so simple, right?

Well, it IS simple. But only if you follow a few vitally important tips to get the balance exactly right. Lemon and mint can really compete with each other if you aren’t careful, and either of them can overwhelm those understated notes of cucumber, if you let them.

Not to worry, though!

You’ve trusted us for over a decade to test, test and re-test every recipe we share … and this one’s no exception. We’ve got it all figured out for you.

Side view of glass pitcher of water, so you can see the floating mint sprigs and slices of lemon and cucumbers.

We built on everything we learned in testing our super-popular Cucumber Water (wow – there was a lot more to test than we’d ever imagined!), and our Lemon Lime Cucumber “Spa” Water. And then we tested batch after batch of this new water “recipe,” figuring out how to add in the mint and perfectly balance the flavors here, so they come together in delicious harmony. No single flavor outshines the others or elbows its way to the front.

Here’s what we learned through all our testing, and what you need to know for perfect Cucumber Lemon Mint Water, every time!

Tip #1: The Correct Ratio Makes ALLLL the Difference!

As I mentioned, this water “recipe” is all about BALANCE.

Mint and lemon are both very distinct flavors. Meanwhile, cucumber brings a quieter, softly mellow smoothness to the flavor party.

So, one of the key goals in our testing was to figure out an ideal ratio that lets each one shine – but not OUTshine the others.

Sure, you can play with this ratio and change it up a bit to suit your own personal preferences, or even to adjust for the size and juiciness of your lemons.

But we’ve found the best starting point to be …

Recommended Proportion

For 2 quarts (8 cups) of water, I recommend using 5 ounces of thinly sliced cucumber (which should give you about 24-30 slices or a heaping 1 cup), along with 4 lemon slices and 3 tablespoons of gently muddled or bruised mint leaves.

Now for those lemon slices, we like to use 4 if we’ve got a large, juicy lemon. But, if you happen to have a smaller, rather tight (and not-so-juicy) lemon, then you’ll probably need to bump that to 5 slices.

Tip #2: Make Sure You Use the Right Kind of Mint

Ok, this is REALLY important, guys.

Way more important than even choosing the right cuke (which we’ll talk about in a sec).

The Winner Is …

You absolutely, positively want to use spearmint, which is what’s typically sold in most American grocery stores as simply “mint.”

Side view of one water glass on white and aqua cloth, with pitcher, extra glasses, and ingredients surrounding.

As Epicurious explains, the main difference between spearmint (or just plain “mint”) vs. peppermint is that peppermint contains menthol. The menthol gives peppermint a much more potent flavor (think Christmastime candy canes or even cough syrup). Nope … that’s not what you want here, trust me.

Tip #3: Choose the Right Kind of Cucumber

In my article about making great, basic Cucumber Water, I go into a lot more detail about the different types of cucumber we tested.

The key takeaway really surprised me, though. I hadn’t thought it would make much difference.

BUT IT DID! A big difference, in fact.

And fancy-schmancy seedless English cucumbers were NOT the winner.

Turns out, the best cucumber for these types of infused water recipes is a plain ol’ garden-variety cuke. You know, the typical kind you see in big bins at your grocery store. They give you the nicest, most pleasantly flavored water. It stays light and refreshing without becoming too assertive and obnoxiously cucumber-y.

So, bottom line:

Which Type of Cucumber to Use?

Always go with a “basic” garden cucumber, not a seedless English cuke or those cute little mini cukes you’d make into pickles.

Tip #4: Use the Right Water

Two points here:

✓ Use Cold Water

Cold water is definitely best for infused water like this one.

It’s not that cold vs. warm water makes a difference in how the flavors develop.

It’s simply that, in all our taste tests of our different infused waters, our taste testers consistently agreed that COLD water is simply yummier and more refreshing.

And, since this water is infused enough to be drinkable after only 10 minutes, it’s a good idea to start with cold water right out of the gate.

What about ice?

Sure, you can add ice if you’d like. But remember that your ice will eventually melt into more … ahem … water. Which means it’ll slightly dilute the perfect proportions you originally created.

If you’re keeping a jug of this Cucumber Lemon Mint Water in your fridge, to entice yourself to stay hydrated all day (good job, you!), then there’s really no need to add ice. (Although it definitely does look pretty!)

But, if you’re making this infused water for a party, you’ll probably want to use ice to keep it cold as it sits out on your drinks buffet. And, in that case, you may need to add some extra slices of cucumber and lemon from time to time, as well as a few extra mint leaves. Just to offset the extra water from the melting ice.

Overhead of filled water glasses, with extra ingredients as garnish and scattered nearby.

✓ Don’t Use Sparkling Water


I was.

But, it turns out that every single one of our taste testers agreed on this. For some reason that I don’t quite understand, sparkling water simply doesn’t taste good with cucumbers.

Long Story Short …

Start with refreshingly cold water, and skip the sparkling stuff.

Tip #5: Absolutely Don’t Leave Your Mint and Lemons in Too Long

Mint can taste really toothpaste-y really fast.

And lemon can easily go from bright and crisp to assertively tart and bitter.

Which throws your perfect, delicious balance of flavors all out of whack.

So How Long Is Too Long?

We found that this water tastes light and balanced after only 10 minutes of infusing. As we said in our testing notes: in that short amount of time, the water was, “Smooth from the cuke, just a little citrus, and an unobtrusive finish of mint.”


It stays fairly balanced as the flavors continue to deepen and meld for an hour. Which is the ideal time to pull out the lemon slices and mint.

Any longer than 1 hour, and the lemon and mint can start to become too strong.

Interestingly, just like with our “regular” Cucumber Water and our “spa” Lemon Lime Cucumber Water, we noticed once again that you don’t have to take the cucumber slices out when you pull out the lemon and mint.

The cucumber has such a mild, mellow flavor that those slices can keep right on floating in your water for up to a couple of days without upsetting the flavor balance. Plus, I think it looks so lovely to have them swimming around in there. Again … bonus points for pretty water!

Oh, but what if you forget to pull your lemon and mint out after an hour? (Maybe your kid’s teacher calls or you’re in the middle of a final bidding war on your favorite, totally addictive online auction site. These things happen.)

But no problem!

It’s still best to pull your mint and lemon out within 3-4 hours, absolute tops. As long as you’re within that timeframe, you can dilute the flavors back into a nice balance by adding more plain, cold water to taste … until you get a flavor you’re happy with.

Tip # 6: Don’t Peel Your Lemon and Cucumber (But Do Wash Them Thoroughly)

I go into a lot more detail about this phase of recipe testing in my article on making Lemon Lime Cucumber Water (if you wanna take a deep dive into ALLLLL the test kitchen details).

The Main Things to Know Are That:

  1. Peeling your fresh lemons leads to an unpleasantly strong, aggressive citrus flavor that overwhelms the smooth nuances of the cucumber and throws everything out of balance.
  2. Peeling your cucumbers and lemons also makes your water UGLY!
Uncut ingredients arranged on cutting board.

I feel like one of the very best things about infused water is that it usually looks so beautiful, so alluring. It beckons you closer, to stay hydrated and drink more water than you otherwise would.

But peeling your cukes and lemons turns them into ugly ducklings.

Plus, why make extra work for yourself, having to peel things that don’t need it?

Nope. Hard pass!

And of course, since you’re leaving the skins on, you’ll want to give your produce a thorough rinse before it hangs out in your water all day.

Ok ok … so at this point, you’re probably fairly clear on how to make this refreshing concoction, but here’s the breakdown, step-by-step (with a few more tips thrown in along the way, ’cause you know you can count on us for the inside scoop)!

How to Make Cucumber Lemon Mint Water

Step 1:

Grab your {thoroughly rinsed} cucumber.

(Remember, from Tip #3 above, that you really, really want a plain ol’ cuke here.)

Slice it up into disks about ⅛” thick. From 5 ounces of cucumber, you’ll get about 24-30 slices, roughly equal to 1 heaping cup.

Sliced ingredients on cutting board with text overlay of ingredient names "Mint", "Water", "Cucumber", "Lemon".

I like to slice my lemons a little thicker than my cucumbers, to help them hold together better. For the lemons, I shoot for about ¼” thick.

Oh, and don’t forget what we talked about in Tip #6 … no peeling!

Step 2:

Pile your cucumber and lemon slices, and your mint leaves into a large pitcher. (The lovelier your pitcher, the better! Clear glass is especially nice.)

Then, add your water to the pitcher, and give it all a gentle stir.

Mint Leaves vs. Whole Stems

In the recipe card below, I give you a couple of different ways to measure your mint.

If you’re going with individual leaves that you’ve plucked off the stem, then you want about 3 tablespoons (lightly packed). That should be about 18-21 medium-large, typical mint leaves. Yep … I counted (more than once).

What I actually prefer to do, though, is keep the leaves on the stems. It looks terrific in your pitcher that way. And, when it’s time to pull the mint out, it’s much easier to scoop up a few stems, instead of fishing around with a slotted spoon to try to capture a bunch of separate leaves. 

If you wanna use sprigs, you’ll probably need about 3 of them, about 6 inches each. (And if you actually want to count, those 3 sprigs should end up yielding about 18-21 leaves in total.)

Whether you choose stems or lots of individual leaves, take a sec to gently bruise the mint before tossing it into your pitcher.

You can do that by lightly squeezing it. You can also “muddle” the mint by putting it in a bowl or wide glass and pressing down on it with a spoon or muddling tool (like a bartender would do when making a mojito).

Just don’t be aggressive here – a tiny bit of bruising is enough to help release the minty flavors without them becoming super strong.

Step 3:

Let your gorgeous concoction sit for at least 10 minutes.

I know, I know … you really want to start sipping right away! It’s soooooo inviting!!

But resist the temptation, and give it at least 10 minutes for the flavors to start to develop. (You’ll be glad you did!)

Or, as we discussed in Tip #5 above, you can pop your pitcher into the fridge to let the flavors infuse for up to about an hour.

When you think it’s ready, take a little test sip to see if the flavors have developed to your liking. Feel free to let it continue infusing for a few more minutes if it seems a little on the weak side … or to dilute it slightly with an extra splash of cold water if the lemon and mint taste too prominent to you.

Pitcher surrounded by 3 glasses of water, with melting ice and extra cucumber and lemon slices scattered around.

Step #4

Once you’re happy with your flavor balance, (at about that magical 1-hour mark), remember to remove your mint and lemons. You can always add some fresh mint and lemons back in as garnish for serving, without ruining your flavor balance.

As I mentioned earlier, those cucumber slices can stay in, though. Your water will look nicer if you leave them in, and the cucumber can go a day or two without getting assertive in its flavoring.

Step #5

You can keep your water (refrigerated, of course!) for up to 2-3 days. I mean … if it lasts that long, which it probably won’t ’cause you’re just gonna want to sip and sip and sip on something so lovely.

But if it does happen to last that long … then sometime around the end of the second day, you might want to remove the cucumbers if they’re looking tired and limp. But other than that, they still shouldn’t really be a problem if left in your water through the third day.

Before you pour each glassful, you might want to give your water a little stir to re-mix the flavors, and to get those sliced cukes merrily swirling around.

Pour yourself a glass …

One water glass with condensation outside, and with ice and garnishes floating inside and arranged on rim.

… and … aaaaaaaaah.


FAQs At-a-Glance

Can You Double or Even Triple This Recipe?

For sure! This Cucumber Lemon Mint Water is ideal for serving in large batches at parties, especially on hot summer days. Plus, if you get your whole family excited about drinking more (enticing!) water, you’ll probably go through each pitcher fairly quickly. Just stick to the baseline ratio of approximately 5 ounces of cucumber, 4 slices of lemon, and 3 tablespoons of mint per 2 quarts of water.

Can You Make Only One Glass (or Sports Bottle) at a Time, Instead of Making a Whole Pitcher?

You can, but there’s no precise ratio for that. It really depends on how big your glass or water bottle is, and how fast you’re drinking it (how long the flavors will have to develop).

Can I Use an Infusion Pitcher?

Absolutely! An infusion pitcher works really well for making flavored waters. Specifically, you might want to place the lemon slices and mint in the removable infuser insert. That way, they’re easier to remove when it’s time.

How Long Does Cucumber Lemon Mint Water Last?

It’ll keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. But don’t forget to pull out your lemon slices and mint after about the first hour.

If you’re looking for an ultra-refreshing idea that’ll have you drinking even more water each day … this is a great way to do it!

After all, when you’re talking about detox water or even about drinking more water to help you with weight loss, it’s important to remember that water itself is a great detox drink and so much healthier and lower in calories than sugary sodas or even fruit juices.

Adding fresh fruit and herbs simply elevates plain water to something much more inviting and interesting … so you actually want to drink more of it (and less of those other, sugary drinks). Total win!

And, of course, if you’re hoping to spruce up that boring water pitcher, to make it gorgeous and party-worthy for your next gathering … well, this Cucumber Lemon Mint Water is perfect for that, too.

Looking down into water glasses so you can see floating lemons, cucumbers, ice, and mint sprigs.

Just follow our tried-and-true tips, and the ultimate thirst-quencher is yours in a jiffy!

~ by Shelley

Love the Recipe? • Were My Tips Helpful?


Please leave a 5-star rating by clicking on the stars in the recipe card below. I truly appreciate all your wonderful feedback!

Closeup of one glassful, garnished with lemon slice and mint springs.

Cucumber Lemon Mint Water

The trick to making delicious Cucumber Lemon Mint Water is getting the flavor balance exactly right. With our fully tested tips and basic ratio as your guide, yours will be terrific every time!
•  Ready in 30 Minutes or Less  •  Make Ahead  •  Vegan (and Vegetarian)  •  Gluten Free  •  Paleo  •
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Yield: 8 cups


  • 5 ounces unpeeled cucumber (regular cucumber, not seedless English – see note)
  • 4 slices lemon (¼" thick), seeds removed (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons lightly packed, whole mint leaves (common spearmint, NOT peppermint or some other variety), lightly muddled or bruised (about 18-21 medium-large leaves, roughly equal to about 3 six-inch sprigs)
  • 2 quarts water (preferably chilled)


  • Slice the cucumber about ⅛" thick (you should have approximately 24-30 slices, or a heaping 1 cup).
    Sliced ingredients on cutting board with text overlay of ingredient names "Mint", "Water", "Cucumber", "Lemon".
  • Add the cucumber and lemon slices, and the mint leaves to a large pitcher. Then add the water, stirring gently.
    Side view of glass pitcher of water, so you can see the floating mint sprigs and slices of lemon and cucumbers.
  • Let sit at least 10 minutes, or (refrigerated) up to about 1 hour, until the flavors are balanced to your liking. If you feel the lemon and mint falvors have become slightly too strong, you can dilute/rebalance the flavors by adding just a little more cold water until you're happy with the balance.
    Glass pitcher full of water and infusing ingredients, with wooden spoon in for stirring.
  • Remove the lemon and mint at this point (after 1 hour). You don't have to remove the cucumber slices unless you want to. They look pretty in the water and don't become too assertive in flavor if left in.
  • Refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Gently stir again before serving. Garnish each glass with fresh slices of lemon and cucumber, or mint sprigs, if desired.
    Overhead of filled water glasses, with extra ingredients as garnish and scattered nearby.

*** In addition to the brief notes below, be sure to refer to the article above for more details regarding the best type of cucumber to choose, why we don't recommend peeling your citrus, and numerous other helpful tips.


    Type of cucumber: As discussed in greater detail in Tip #3 above, regular “garden cucumbers” were by far the most popular cucumber variety we tested. Our taste testers specifically disliked the stronger flavor that developed when using seedless English cucumbers or mini cucumbers.
    Lemon: Use the suggested 4 slices of lemon if your lemon is a fairly large, juicy one. If your lemon is small and rather tight (less juicy), try using 5 slices instead of only 4.
    Water: Like I mentioned in Tip #4 above, our taste testers all agreed this water recipe tastes best when it’s cold. That’s why we recommend starting with chilled water, since the flavors are developed enough to begin drinking this after just 10 minutes of wait time. Refer to the article above to read more about water temperature and adding ice.


    Serving: 1 cup | Calories: 8 | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Unsaturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 10mg | Carbohydrates: 3g | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 0g
    (Nutrition calculation does not include cucumber or mint.)

    * Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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    5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)