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Drinks Using Cucumber

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I recently became a convert to cucumber juice in cocktails after a recent trip to Amsterdam. The American Bar there serves a very refreshing champagne-topped cocktail they call the 'Heavy Day'. According to the menu, it was made with gin, Cointreau, lime juice, cucumber juice, and champagne. After some experimentation, I would go with:

1oz Gin

½oz Cointreau

½oz Lime juice

½oz Cucumber juice

½-1oz Champagne (I'm actually partial to a nice dry cava)

Shake all ingredients expept your sparkly, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with champagne, and garnish with a cucumber slice. Be sure to peel your cucumber first. I found out the hard way (as others have noted) that the peel leaves an unpleasant bitter taste and a cloudy dark green colour.

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I love Paul McGee's Arrigo Park...you don't notice the cucumber much at first, but by the end it's completely changed the drink. I believe it goes something like:

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye

3/4 oz Carpano Antica

1/2 oz Cynar

Stir over ice & strain into a chilled rocks glass, add a slice of cucumber.

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After a Kentucky Maid a few days ago with bourbon as the base liquor (from the Drinks thread)...

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This Jalisco Maid created by Anthony Schmidt from Noble Experiment with tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, cucumber, mint, salt.

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These are excellent summer drinks.

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I would also put some in a traditonal Pimms. The other drink it goes well with is Hendricks gin with tonic. It doesn't work with other gins but seems to be perfect with Hendricks.

Andrew

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My drink of choice at night is a cucumber basil gimlet. I'm not a mixologist, so I don't know how true to the name it is, but I muddle an inch long piece of cucumber, several basil leaves, and about 1/2 oz of simple syrup in a shaker. Add to that 1 1/2 oz gin (Tanqueray, because that's what I have in the house) and ice, and shake it up. Strain over crushed ice, add 4 oz lime DRY Soda. Garnish with a lime slice and a basil leaf. Best summer drink ever!

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cucumber basil gimlet. I'm not a mixologist, so I don't know how true to the name it is,... add 4 oz lime DRY Soda

A Gimlet wouldn't have the carbonated mixer. Perhaps it's a Cooler or Highball.

Do you prefer the DRY Lime to fresh squeezed lime juice plus unflavored soda or seltzer?

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I've been craving this very nice variation on a Manhattan created by Sam Ross and called the Cobble Hill since trying it at the Varnish earlier this year. He describes it as a summertime Manhattan. It contains rye, dry vermouth, amaro Montenegro, and cucumber. It's really worth trying.

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Dan-I'll go with cooler, it's certainly a cooling drink! And I really like the lime soda, it's less tart, and I like my drinks on the sweet side. But I have made it with lime juice and San Pellegrino with excellent results, I just have to add a little more simple syrup.

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Maid in France (aka French Maid) yesterday for Bastille day. Very good with the 1840 Pierre Ferrand cognac (much nicer than the Remy Martin VSOP version). Overall the PF 1840 is spot-on for mixing.

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As an aside, I just started a blog. You can follow me at Tartines to Tikis if you are so inclined. But no worries, I will continue to post on eGullet.

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My go-to cucumber cocktail - especially now that it's hot outside - is the Juliet and Romeo from Violet Hour in Chicago. Gin, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, Rosewater, Angostura.

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My go-to cucumber cocktail - especially now that it's hot outside - is the Juliet and Romeo from Violet Hour in Chicago. Gin, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, Rosewater, Angostura.

Do you put salt in yours Tzatziki? I tried one a while back and it was wretched. Interested to know how to make it work.

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I agree with you Tzatziki, the Juliet and Romeo is wonderful. It has been discussed quite a bit on eG before and it even has its own thread here.

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My go-to cucumber cocktail - especially now that it's hot outside - is the Juliet and Romeo from Violet Hour in Chicago. Gin, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, Rosewater, Angostura.

Do you put salt in yours Tzatziki? I tried one a while back and it was wretched. Interested to know how to make it work.

If you're going off the original, I think that the biggest thing that can mess it up is using Hendrick's - it's tempting because the flavor profile is so similar, but it's really much better with a London Dry style (although I like it with Martin Miller as well). With the salt, I think the point is to coax water out of the cucumber, not to flavor the drink. You can rub salt on the cucumber, let it set for 10-15 minutes, and then brush it off before you mix it. Not sure if that's how it's done at the Violet Hour, but I've had it there and it's definitely not salty.

I have changed a few things from the original recipe, though. I use Persian cucumbers and leave the peel on, and balance that bitterness by cutting back on the Angostura. The bigger change I've made is to use substantially more rosewater - maybe a teaspoon worth, or a little less. Maybe TVH uses stronger rosewater or something, but I needed more rosewater for it to match what I remember.


Edited by Tzatziki (log)

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I guess it's worth a second shot then! I think my big error was too much salt. Thanks for the tips.


Edited by Plantes Vertes (log)

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I always use a small pinch of koscher salt in mine; I let it sit for a very short time (the recipe says 30 seconds) but I don't brush it off. I believe that it adds to the taste of the cocktail. It adds something that is hard to describe but the cocktail would not be as distinctive without it. There was a discussion a few weeks ago on the role of salt in cocktails.

Tzatziki is correct that a London Dry gin is the way to go in this drink.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Maid in France (aka French Maid)

Correction to my entry - the French Maid, a creation from Jim Meehan, is actually a different drink which looks like a riff on the Maid in France with the addition of ginger beer & falernum, and lime instead of lemon.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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I had a delicious Eastside variation this weekend at Ironside, a seafood bistro in San Diego. They call it a Skubic Diver (it's an homage to Michael Skubic, the distiller of the gin) - Old Harbor San Miguel gin (a gin made in San Diego heavy with fresh botanicals including lime, cucumber, cilantro, and sage), basil eau de vie, lime juice, celery bitters, cucumber, and sea salt. A fine libation to accompany a platter of oysters.

 

(That's an equally fabulous Mai Tai in the front)

 

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I wonder how I missed that one. Gordon's Cup (Sasha Petraske) which is really a gin-based Caipirinha with the requisite muddled lime wedges plus some cucumber to tie everything together. Great summer drink!

 

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Well after the Gordon's Cup, the next logical step was its brunch counterpart, the Gordon's Breakfast. And wow. It is super tasty. Savory with a kick. It turns out tomato juice doesn't add much to the Bloody Mary/Red Snapper.

 

Gordon's Breakfast (Sam Ross) with Beefeater gin, muddled lime and cucumber, Worcestershire, Cholula.

 

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Cucumber and Fernet, who would have thought?

 

Remnants of Summer (Matt Seiter via Gaz Regan) with 7 Leguas blanco tequila, lime juice, maraschino, Fernet-Branca, muddled cucumber, Champagne.

 

This is wild and delicious. A great end of summer drink.

 

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Cucumber and Fernet, who would have thought?

 

Remnants of Summer (Matt Seiter via Gaz Regan) with 7 Leguas blanco tequila, lime juice, maraschino, Fernet-Branca, muddled cucumber, Champagne.

 

This is wild and delicious. A great end of summer drink.

 

Also wild and delicious, with cucumber and fernet: Perla's Cantina Band. Now that you're out of tequila :raz:  I recommend you give it a try. 


Edited by Craig E (log)

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