You Can Order a Box of the World's Rarest Cucumbers to Try in You Next Gin & Tonic

Hendrick's Gin teamed with researchers to identify and grow some of scarcest cucumbers from around the globe.

Hendrick’s Curious Cucumber Collection
Photo: Courtesy of Hendrick’s

For the past several years, Hendrick's Gin has been trying to make World Cucumber Day happen by encouraging all of us to give that cylindrical fruit "the attention it deserves" every June 14. The Scottish distiller, which infuses its signature gin with cucumber, wants everyone to share in its message of "love, understanding, and appreciation" by celebrating the humble cucumber.

But in addition to inventing a cucumber-based holiday, Hendrick's has gone one step further and is now working to cultivate some of the world's rarest cucumbers, ensuring they'll be available for…well, garnishing your next G&T. Hendrick's Master Distiller Lesley Gracie partnered with Lenore Newman, PhD, the director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, to identify some of the scarcest cucumber species that are scattered throughout multiple continents.

They then focused their efforts on six varieties and seeds from those fruits were planted and cultivated in greenhouses throughout the United States and Europe, resulting in thousands of cukes that may not have otherwise existed. "As someone who has devoted my career to the discovery and preservation of rare fruits and vegetables, I can say with conviction that what Hendrick's has done for these cucumbers is a tremendous scientific accomplishment," Newman said in a statement.

"These seeds represent a microscopic amount of the global cucumber population and without this project, they remained in danger. It's remarkable to see them restored to such great scale, and it's such a joy for people to now be able to taste these marvelous fruits."

Hendrick’s Curious Cucumber Collection
Courtesy of Hendrick’s

That's right, you can bring some of these rare cucumbers into your own kitchen, through the exclusive Hendrick's "Curious Cucumber Collection" from Farmer Jones Farm at The Chef's Garden. These carefully grown cukes are now available to pre-order at in a variety pack ($48) and, although no two boxes will be exactly the same, the cucumbers you receive will all be perfect for snacking, cooking, and slicing for your next cocktails.

The six rare cucumbers that Gracie and Newman ID'ed for this endeavor include the sweet Cucamelon, which is grown in Mexico and Central America; the African Horned cucumber, whose appearance lives up to its name; the tart Hmong Red, which is found in the mountains of Cambodia, northern Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam; the "splendidly sweet" Aonaga Jibai, which only grows on the island of Kyushu Japan; the Gagon Cucumber, which was found in Bhutan; and the crunchy Muromsky Cucumber which comes from eastern Europe.

Hendrick’s Curious Cucumber Collection
Courtesy of Hendrick’s

"You could say I have a healthy obsession with cucumbers, they truly are quite fascinating fruits," Gracie said. "Over the years, I've had the pleasure of seeing so many diverse and wonderful varieties of cucumber in different parts of the world. The chance to cultivate some of the more peculiar styles on the brink of extinction has been an extremely fun and welcomed challenge."

And, let's be honest: there's no reason why you can't celebrate World Cucumber Day every day.

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