This is supposed to be a blog for Brian’s Cucumber Lemonade #2, following yesterday’s #1.
I got a little side tracked. I was looked for 6 lemons and found only 3, but I had a lime and 2 oranges. So, this drink is not “lemonady” at all. It’s citrus and, modestly, brilliantly refreshing. The beverage is made with only cucumber juice, citrus juice and some simple syrup. No water. It’s a tad viscous and definitely forceful.
How does it taste? The cucumber coolness hits first, followed by this cascade of citrus notes: lemon, then orange. The lime is barely susceptible in my version here, but I suspect that every time you make this drink, you’ll find a different kaleidoscope of flavors to enjoy. And, you can adjust the mix of citrus juice here; you are looking for about ⅔ cup of juice. Remember, if you change the ratio of lemons/limes to oranges, you’ll be affecting the sweetness level. And, more oranges will give you more juice.
I’ll go to the store, get more lemons, and work on #2. In the meantime, this #1.5 is very satisfactory.
Brian’s Cucumber Citrus Cascade #1.5
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 English cucumber, about 12 ounces
- 3 lemons
- 1 lime
- 2 oranges
- ½ cup simple syrup
Peel, slice and seed the cucumber. Cut into chunks and put them in a blender [a Vitamix is better for this, much better]. Process until completely pulverized: a minute or more. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. You want about ⅔ cup of cucumber juice.
Rinse the blender and return the cucumber water to it. Add the juice of the lemons, lime, and oranges. Add the sugar syrup. Process until well blended.
Chill before serving and then serve with ice.
Source: Brian O’Rourke, inspired from food.com
Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/40th second at ISO‑2500
Mexican food maven, Rick Bayless, has a wonderful new book. Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks offers sensational ideas from his famed Frontera Grill restaurant.
Here’s a beverage idea, a duo idea, that is not a margarita but does employ the ever-versatile tequila. It’s a sweet agua fresca that can be converted into a delightful cocktail.
The agua fresca is watermelon with lime juice and sugar. By itself, it’s very satisfying on a warm day. [Oh, come on, spring will come. Summer will follow. Have some faith. Wait a moment here, I have to close my window. So damn cold …]
And for the cocktail, some tequila and that wonderful liquor Aperol transform agua fresca into something with deeper meaning. Well, deeper flavor.
Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca
Yield: 4 cups
- A 3-pound chunk of ripe, seedless watermelon
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup sugar
Cut the rind off the watermelon, then cut the fruit into rough 1-inch chunks. You need about a generous 4 cups [1 ½ pounds] cleaned cubes.
Put the cubes into a blender — or better a Vitamix — then add the lime juice and the sugar. Blend until smooth.
Now, look at the measure scale on the side of your blender and add enough water to make 4 cups. Blend to mix. Strain to remove any seeds [that’s the good part about using a Vitamix: typically no seeds survive and you get all the nutrients].
Pour into a storage container, cover and refrigerate. This agua fresca is best used the day it is made.
Watermelon Lime Cocktail
Yield: 8 cocktails
- One batch of watermelon lime agua fresca [recipe above]
- 1 ½ cups blue agave blanco tequila
- ¾ cup Aperol
- 8 cups ice cubes
In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, Aperol and watermelon lime agua fresca. Stir to combine, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
When ready to serve, pour about ¾ cup of the cocktail mixture into each of eight 12-ounce highball glasses. Add about a cup of ice to each one and serve immediately.
Source: Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks by Rick Bayless