So often we only think of cucumbers in connection with a salad but they easily add a cool, fresh crispness to drinks as well.
Perfect as a refresher on those hot days, cucumbers help combine cool and delicate flavours while adding a sweet, vegetal element. They can also act as a great support flavour, balancing out an overly zesty lime for example.
When it comes to drinks there are a wide variety of ways you can use cucumbers. The most obvious way is to muddle them in the base of a shaker. This is often the most popular way to use cucumber, with three or four slices of cucumber being enough to add that needed bit of freshness for most drinks.
Alternatively, making a cucumber simple syrup is a great alternative to muddling. Simply heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves (equal parts is the easiest to start), then add a few slices of peeled cucumber and cook on low for 3 or 4 minutes. Strain the cucumber and the syrup can then be stored in the refrigerator.
What people often don’t think about is infusing cucumbers into the spirit they are using. Although you can do this with most spirits, it’s particularly good when added to vodka or gin. Simply add around 280g of cucumbers to a 700 ml (or 300g for a 750ml) bottle, steep these for a day, then strain the cucumbers out (making sure that you use the leftover cucumbers in a salad).
Don’t of course forget to use any leftover cucumber as a garnish. It’s super easy and visually pretty to line your glass with cucumber slices or with a thin ribbon of cucumber. Otherwise, slices of cucumber, spiralised cucumber or threading cucumber ribbons on a cocktail pick are also great presentation ideas.