I have been the designated driver enough times to realize that having a few funky non-alcoholic choices on the bar menu is not only a boost for driving safety, but a relief to those who’ve picked the short straw.
With summer heat in full swing and having just gotten ‘water’ from every fruit and vegetable in my garden, I was left with the desire for something cooling, something non-alcoholic and something that would use up the unending amount of cucumbers multiplying like randy bunnies in my garden.
I scoured through a few recipes and found one that sounded perfect. After making and tasting it, I altered it. That’s how I fly.
Here’s my adapted version of Food & Wine’s Cucumber Lemonade Mocktail.
Cucumber Citrus Sparkler
- Servings: makes 2 large glasses
2 medium cucumbers
3 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon hot water (F&W used agave syrup, but I found it muddied the color and opted for orange honey)
4 small limes
1 cup (more or less) cucumber juice (see below for instructions)
1 cup sparkling water
Make your cuke juice
– Peel your cucumbers, but beforehand, make two paper thin slices (with the dark green edges still on) and line the inside of your glasses with them. Be artistic. Show some flair.
– Cut those puppies up and puree.
– Strain through cheesecloth and squeeze out the water. You’ll be amazed at how much of it there’ll be.
The rest is easy
– Squeeze the juice from your lemon and limes into a fresh glass.
– Warm your honey by adding the hot water to dissolve it.
– Add ice to a cocktail shaker, pour in your citrus and cucumber juice and finally the honey.
– Shake till frothy.
– Pour ½ cup of your sparkling water into each glass along with a couple ice cubes, and add the frothy juice from your cocktail shaker.
Garnish with a smile.