Nimbu Soda with Cucumber Cucumber Salted Lime Soda
Nimbu Soda with Cucumber Cucumber Salted Lime Soda

The beauty of this Cucumber Salted Lime Soda is that you can control the sweetness and saltiness to your liking. The muddled cucumber adds a cool, crunchy, and refreshing flavor.

In this recipe

  • What is a pickle salt lime soda?
  • To peel or not to peel cucumbers?
  • How to mess up the cucumber
  • A tip for making cucumber salt lime soda
  • Exchange and substitution of ingredients
  • Storage Instructions
  • More refreshing non-alcoholic drinks

My studies in art history taught me to appreciate Indian art and culture, but marriage has introduced me to the country’s rich and expansive culture – my husband’s maternal side has roots in the Punjab region.

My first trip to India was for a family wedding. My mother-in-law took us on a two-week trip through North and Central India, the regions where she grew up. It was an adventure. It was also September before the monsoon season started and very, very hot and muggy.

It’s a simple and ubiquitous drink enjoyed throughout northern India and every restaurant we visited had it on the menu. Some offered it when they seated us. Everyone had their own way of serving it. Some had a small carafe of simple syrup to sweeten our lime drink to our liking. Others offered menus with a variety of combinations. In one place there was a tiny bowl of salt and a spoon for seasoning the soda.

Of the many wonderful meals and memories from this trip, the Nimbu soda stuck in my mind, so I made this inspired Cucumber Salted Lime Soda. Muddled Cucumber adds a mild and crunchy cucumber flavor that pairs beautifully with the lime and salt.

I am planning to serve Cucumber Salted Lime Soda as part of the upcoming Diwali festival. Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is an important holiday for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Diwali follows the lunar calendar, so the date changes every year – this year it falls in early November.

Here in Southern California, we’re ending our second summer when temperatures can still be hot, so this is a refreshing drink to have on hand.

What is a pickle salt lime soda?

A Cucumber Salted Lime Soda is made with muddled cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, salt, and soda water over ice. The recipe is simple, but it’s the endless modifications that make this drink unique. Everything is a matter of taste, from the amount of sugar or salt to the ratio of soda and ice cream.

To peel or not to peel cucumbers?

If you have a thin-skinned English or Persian cucumber, you can leave the skin on. You don’t have to remove the seeds.

If you have one of the thicker, dark green cucumbers, peel them. The skin becomes bitter when muddled. Also, remove any pips, as these tend to be large and uncomfortably floating around in your drink.

How to mess up the cucumber

To mess up the cucumber, I find it easiest to cut it into 1/4-inch pieces. No need to reach for a ruler though, a rough chop will do, as long as they’re all about the same size.

I use a smooth-surfaced wooden pestle for this job. There are many different muddlers out there – I wouldn’t recommend one with teeth as the pickle will get stuck and you’ll pry it out instead of enjoying it in your drink.

No muffle? Do not worry! The end of a wooden spoon works great too. Pro tip: If you’re making a large batch, use a small blender like a Magic Bullet to blend a few cups of pickles at a time.

A tip for making cucumber salt lime soda

You don’t want to use granulated sugar here as it won’t dissolve completely. Simple syrup, a sugar water solution, is the best option. It’s easy to make at home and adds sweetness to this drink without the crunchy bits of undissolved sugar.

Exchange and substitution of ingredients

If you want to try the traditional version of this recipe, omit the cucumber. Here are other swaps and substitutions you can play with:

  • This recipe calls for lemonade, but there’s plenty of room for improvisation. For more lime flavor, use sparkling water with naturally flavored lime juice. Pickle or lime soda could also be used.
  • If you serve this drink during Diwali, you should skip the alcohol as it is a religious holiday. Any other time of year, however, an ounce of vodka is a welcome addition to make a cocktail out of.

Storage Instructions

The muddled cucumber, salt, simple syrup, and lime juice base can be combined a few hours before serving. Add ice and soda water to serve.

If making a larger batch, mix the base in a pitcher and fill with ice and club soda before serving. You can also put the ice and club soda in individual glasses. Just remember to provide salt, simple syrup and more lemonade for guests to customize their drinks.

More refreshing non-alcoholic drinks

  • jamu
  • Cucumber Mint “Shrub” Soda
  • Wintery spiced orange mocktail
  • Cucumber Lime Mint Aqua Fresca
  • Homemade Ginger Ale

Nimbu Soda with Cucumber (Cucumber Salted Lime Soda)

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

1 drink

This is a basic recipe that is neither too sweet nor too salty. Customize it to your liking!


  • 1 accumulate tablespoon rough chopped cucumber

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher saltplus more to taste

  • 1 ounce Freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrupplus more to taste

  • Iceserve

  • 3 ounces Soda


  1. Mash cucumbers:

    In a highball glass, combine the cucumber and salt. Using a pestle or the back of a wooden spoon, mash the cucumbers and let sit for a minute to allow the salt to fully dissolve.

  2. Add the lime juice and sweetener:

    Add the lime juice, simple syrup, and enough ice to fill 3/4 of the glass.

  3. Finish with soda:

    Pour soda water over the ice. Stir gently. Season to taste with salt and sugar syrup and adjust.

nutritional information (per serving)
34 calories
0g Fat
9g carbohydrates
0g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!