Cool as a Cucumber

Gimlet

For the past few weeks, we’ve been getting 10 cucumbers each week as part of our CSA share. Sliced cucumbers sprinkled with spiced salt are a favorite, or of course, adding cucumbers to a salad, but I was looking for something new to do with cucumbers.

For the past year, I’ve been doing some experimenting with cocktails. Usually, I just drink wine or beer. My repertoire of cocktails was mostly limited to frozen margaritas and daiquiris, both based on limeade concentrate. Now that cocktails are trendy, it felt like time to branch out. It all started last summer when we discovered Vena’s Fizz House in Portland which sells different mixers, like the base for the Small Batch Gin & Tonics we like. I also get inspiration from my favorite on-line mixologist and blogging friend, Christy Majors.

When we were out in San Diego in June, we had a few cucumber cocktails. I didn’t pay close attention to what was in them, but, as we sat at the bar sipping our drinks, we did discuss how well they hit the spot on a hot afternoon. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the previously mentioned plethora of cucumbers reminded me to try this at home.

Cucumber juice turns out to be very easy to make — no juicer required. Wash one or two cucumbers, preferably organically grown. Chop them coarsely. Don’t bother to peel or seed them. The skin gives the juice a wonderful chartreuse color. I quartered the cucumber lengthwise, then sliced it into half-inch slices. Throw the cucumber pieces into the blender with a handful of ice cubes for each cucumber. Turn the blender onto a high speed, and puree until smooth. Now strain the puree through a fine sieve. Press on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. You should get about 1 cup of juice for each cucumber.

I’ve been playing around with the combination of cucumber juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and liquor. I’ve had success with both cucumber mojitos (rum) and cucumber gimlets (gin). The margaritas didn’t come out as well.

Mojitos start by muddling sprigs of mint in a tall glass before adding the other ingredients. For the gimlets, simply pour the ingredients over ice. Both are cool, refreshing, and delicious options for relaxing on a hot summer evening.

cucumber mojito

Cucumber Mojito
Makes one drink

6 sprigs of fresh mint
3 oz cucumber juice (made as described above)
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup (made from equal amounts sugar and water)
2 oz rum, preferably Bacardi Limon
Ice<
Slice of cucumber and sprig of mint to garnish

In a tall glass, muddle the mint until it's very fragrant. Leave the mint in the glass, and fill it with ice. In a separate container, combine the cucumber juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and rum. Pour over the ice. Garnish with a cucumber slice and mint sprig.

Cucumber Gimlet
Makes one drink

1 oz cucumber juice (made as described above)
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz simple syrup (made from equal amounts sugar and water)
1 oz gin, preferably Hendricks
Ice
Slice of cucumber to garnish

Fill a short (old-fashioned) glass with ice. In a separate container, combine the cucumber juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and gin. Pour over the ice. Garnish with a cucumber slice. You can also double it and serve in a tall glass (as pictured!)

Cheers!

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Posted on 5 August 2014, in Cocktails, General, Summer, Summer CSA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Those both sound lovely. I got a little carried away planting all the cucumbers I started this year, so am going to have an overabundance before the end of the summer.

  2. Love this!! I have to try both cocktails. I’m a cucumber nut, and you know I love my Hendricks! Wish you and Howard were closer – we are doing a Cocktail Throwdown Oct. 4th and it would be so fun to have you here.

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