Let me tell you something, I’m a big fan of Sundays. Sundays mean family lunches, sometimes sleeping in, long afternoons spent lounging by the pool, catching up on the news and daily reads (which are no longer daily reads due to work commitments), leisurely poking in the pantry to see what there is to experiment with…
On this particular sweltering Sunday afternoon (check it out guys, it’s 32°C with 66% humidity – it’s a sweat bath out there), I was poking around looking for something to cool me down and quench my thirst and I thought hey! Cucumber with water works wonders, (Yuet’s always telling me to drink cucumber juice cos it’s liang). So while I’m slicing my cucumbers for my huge jug of water I notice that half bottle of Belvy that’s just hanging out over there on the kitchen counter and I think mmmm cucumber-infused vodka cocktails would be perfect for sunny afternoons… and the best part? It’s SO easy to make.
- 1 sliced cucumber (different recipes tell you different things – some say to peel and core, some say to stick the whole cucumber in, some say large chunks.. I’m not sure what works best so I just dumped a lot of sliced cucumbers into the jar)
- 1/2 bottle of vodka (375ml) – use the decent stuff, like belvy, you want it clean and crisp tasting
- Into an air-tight container dump the cucumber and vodka, seal, place in the fridge to infuse (anywhere between 3 days and a week depending on how strong you want it to taste – no more than a week or it will start to taste bitter)
As for cocktail ideas? Martha recommends a Mint, Cucumber and Vodka cooler. With cucumber infused vodka you can skip step 1 entirely!
- 2 English cucumbers
- Small ice cubes
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) vodka
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau
- Cut 4 thin spears from 1 cucumber, and reserve for garnish. Peel remaining cucumbers, and quarter them lengthwise. Scrape out seeds with a spoon, and discard. Coarsely chop cucumbers, then puree in a food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add mint, sugar, and lime juice, and shake. Add 3/4 cup cucumber juice, the vodka, and Cointreau, and shake. Strain into 4 glasses filled with ice. Garnish each cocktail with a cucumber spear.
My friend Matt recommends Basil, Green grape and Cucumber vodka which we had for burger night with some friends on Saturday. I don’t have the exact measurements because I was watching him make it but the recipe goes something along the lines of
- handful of grapes
- a few fresh basil leaves
- cucumber vodka
- simple syrup (half sugar, half water, heat till it becomes syrup)
- Small ice cubes
- Muddle grapes, basil, simple syrup and a dash of water in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add cucumber vodka and ice. Shake it like a polaroid picture.
- Pour into glass, top with gingerale to taste, add a basil leaf to make it pretty.
And now I’m trying to think of other things to do with my cucumber surplus.