The Lucky Jim

Another gem from the Amis book “On Drink,” this one takes its name from the title of his tale of an undeservedly fortunate university lecturer. As in all of Amis’ recipes, he recommends not using your good liquor on any drink in which you’ll mix it with fruit juices or sweeteners. He also points out that the drink’s “apparent mildness might make it an excellent love-philtre to press on shy young ladies, if there are any of these left.”


  • ½ to ⅔ bottle vodka
  • shot glass of vermouth
  • 2 cucumbers; 1 with skin left on and sliced thin
  • ice


  • lemon sqeezer
  • pitcher or jug
  • stirrer
  • 6 cocktail glasses


  1. Place six cocktail glasses in refrigerator and fill with water an hour before guests arrive.
  2. Add ice to pitcher or jug and fill with ½ bottle of vodka and vermouth. Stir for a minute.
  3. Peel one cucumber and slice it into two inch chunks. Place chunk into lemon sqeezer and sqeeze the juices into a small bowl. Do this for the entire cucumber. Strain juice into the vodka- and ice-filled pitcher through a coffee filter. Stir again.
  4. Remove chilled glasses from the refrigerator, dump the water and fill with vodka and cumber mixture. Gently place a thin slice of vodka on top and serve.