I’ve gotten to become a fan of cucumber juice over time as it is a great way to bring a really fresh taste to any cocktail. I finally found a good way to extract a good quantity of juice and then I had to come up with some good ideas of what to mix it with. Then, I thought, why not whiskey. After putting whiskey + cucumber juice in Google I got a number of hits for an Irish Maid…never heard of it, but tried some combinations and became a believer. Here’s what I did, and it was lovely:
- Knob Creek – 2oz
- Cucumber Juice – 1oz
- Mint Simple Syrup – 1/2oz (you can use a bunch of mint leaves and little sugar if you don’t have the time)
- St. Germain – 1oz (this stuff is gangsta if you’ve never used it before and can almost replace using any sugar)
- Juice of 1/2 a fresh squeezed lemon
Don’ get much better than this on a hot Summer afternoon or a cold Winter one for that matter!
Well, first, why? The answer – I’ve had cucumber in a few drinks over time and always found that it added a really refreshing touch to whatever it was in. So, I thought I’d do it myself and then see what kind of fun cocktails I could come up with.
So, I tried to make it a couple of times in different ways and didn’t get much juice. Doesn’t seem that hard, so I tried doing it a little different. The below worked great and I got a lot of juice out of it.
First, I cut the ends off 2 cucumbers and peeled them. Next, I blended them down as much as I could. Then I put the blended cucumber through a strainer and the remainder became fantastic cucumber juice.
What to do with it? You can use it for lemonade or a whole assortment of cocktails…great w/ Vodka, Kentucky Bourbon, even Mezcal. One warning is it doesn’t keep very long, so make it and use it within a couple of days. Cocktail recipes on the way…
There is a fantastic restaurant that we visited this Summer in Bend, OR called Spork. They had some of the most fantastic foods and drinks that it was too hard to decide on just one thing. However, my favorites were their Carnitas Sando and to wash it down this beautiful bright orange Jardin de Puebla cocktail. I gathered up some ingredients to re-create it and this is how it went:
- 1 1/2 oz Jose Cuervo
- 3/4 oz Ancho Reyes VERDE (not regular Ancho Reyes, the Verde has a whole different flavor to it)
- 1/2 oz Celery Drinking vinegar…couldn’t find this, so had to make it, and this recipe worked well
- Lemon juice from half a lemon
- 2 oz Carrot juice
- Salt and pepper on the rim
It was a bit challenging finding the Ancho Reyes Verde, but now that I have found it and tasted it all by itself, I get it and will use it much more often…it adds a wonderful poblano chile flavor. Just the color alone of this drink makes it different than anything else you will probably make and should be added to your arsenal as it’s divine. Enjoy and if you get a chance try the real deal at Spork…it’s worth it!
I had to “taste test” a lot of wines to get to these top 6, but somebody had to do it. I don’t have a palate that can tell you if there is Oak, Smoke, or Elderberries in them, but I do know they are yummy, they are big, bold, & red, and they are cheap, for now…enough said. I have put the links below pointing to Vivino as I use the app all the time and it’s spectacular. Give ’em a whirl:
- Sofa King Bueno: $22 – Paso Robles, CA Red Blend…#1 and my absolute favorite on this list not just because the name is awesome, but because it is insanely delicious
- Barrel 27 Bull by the Horns: $20 – Paso Robles, CA Cabernet Sauvignon
- Treana: $25 – this one is from Paso Robles, CA. It’s a Cab and yes at $25 it’s a little more expensive…sorry, I couldn’t help it…sometimes I find it cheaper but it’s great and worth it even at $25
- 19 Crimes: $10 – This one is from Australia. A Shiraz-Grenache-Mataro (no idea what the hell the last grape is but it’s a great combo and only 10 bones!
- Klinker Brick: $14 – from Lodi, CA this is a big red zin
- Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Private Selection (Aged in Bourbon Barrels): $15 – from Oakville, CA. It’s wine aged in Bourbon…need I say more!
If you have any favorites you’d like to share, holla back.
I couldn’t resist on the name. I was playing with some ingredients (Mezcal + cucumber juice) and came up with this:
A little smoky from the Mezcal, a little cold from the cucumber…blam, Smoky Cold Medina!
I was a bartender for 3 years in college and have enjoyed making cocktails ever since. My favorite is a Grand Marnier Margarita (call it a Cadillac, call it top shelf, whatever, Grand Marnier makes all the difference!). There are lots of arguments about what is the best tequila to use. My favorite is Jose Cuervo Gold (this isn’t my favorite sipping tequila…that may go to a Don Julio 70 or a Maestro Dobel Diamante…thanks to some of my friends down in Guadalajara, but it is my favorite for this margarita). So, here goes:
2 cups Tequila
1/2 cup Triple sec
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or GrandMa (as my college bartender friends affectionately called it)
1 1/2 cup Water (or just ice to cool it all down)
1/2 cup lime/lemon juice…my preference here is Meyer Lemons (or swap out a little for Orange Juice for a little orangier flavor)
Mix it up, chill, salt a rim if you like (or switch it up and put a little Tajin on the rim for a little more spice), and pour over ice. Put your feet up and watch the day go by!
Here is a very simple recipe to help you make some really nice flavored simple syrups that you can use to make your favorite cocktails or just a nice flavored lemonade, etc. The nice thing with them is you can make them up, stick them in a mason jar, pop them in the refrigerator and just break them out whenever you want to infuse some nice flavors into your next drink. The process is really simple:
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- AND, whatever you want to infuse…Jalapeno, Rosemary, Mint, etc.
Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar to the boiling water and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add your flavoring of choice and boil for about a minute. Remove it from the heat and let it steep for about 1/2 an hour. Depending on what you are working with, pour the cooled off syrup through a strainer into a mason jar, put the lid on and put it in the refrigerator.
Now just add as a sweetener to anything you are making to just enhance the flavor…lemonade, margaritas, etc….heavenly!