It's deck weather here, and this is a great drink for entertaining. It will be even better when everyone's gardens are cranking out cucumbers... mmm. :)
I will give you the recipe here, and then I'll walk you through a little bit of the prep. There are a few things you'll have to make before you can mix it up, but they are quick things and can be done well ahead of time, so that all you need to do when your guests arrive is shake up a couple and relax.
Adrianne's Cucumber Martini
- 1.5 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. triple sec
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. cucumber juice
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
If you're new to the world of specialty martinis... welcome! There is one ingredient that pops up a lot, and that's simple syrup. Simple syrup is equal parts of sugar and water (I make my batches one cup of each at a time), heated in a saucepan on low heat, until the sugar dissolves. It takes about 5 minutes to make a small batch of simple syrup - your sugar will dissolve before your water comes to a boil. I didn't photograph this step because I had some on-hand, but if you'd like photographs of a syrup I made recently to see how it looks once the sugar dissolves, you can visit my post about the lemon-basil gimlet.
Perhaps you're wondering about how in the world you're going to juice a cucumber. You'll need a blender or a food processor for this step - to my knowledge, you can't just buy this as an ingredient.
Wash your cucumber well, and cut off a few slices to set aside for your garnish. Then, peel what's left and cut it into chunks (this will make it easier for your food processor to handle).
Puree it. You want it as close to liquefied as possible. You may find that adding a tablespoon or so of water makes this process go more smoothly. Then, you'll strain your puree to remove anything solid. Place your strainer over a bowl (I used a measuring cup and my small strainer) and spoon your puree into the strainer. You can press down on the puree to squeeze as much juice as possible out - if a bit of pulp comes through, that's okay. Any pulp small enough to fit through your strainer will be fine.
I managed to get a little over 4 oz. of juice from one large cucumber, after I reserved 4 slices for garnishing, which is enough for 4 drinks.
Simple sugar lasts in the frig for months in a sealed container. I just use a Mason jar for mine. I'm not sure about the cucumber juice; I try to use fresh ingredients like this within three days. But you can certainly prepare these ahead of time to save yourself the work later.
Now, the presentation for martinis is half the fun, really. This drink is excellent with a sugared rim. If you haven't rimmed a glass before, the easiest way to do it is to rub it with fruit and dip it. In our case - we are using cucumbers, so I rubbed it with a cucumber slice:
And then dipped the rim in a small mound of sugar.
Now, to shake it up. For this, I really do advocate owning a shaker tin, though professional bartenders have been known to shake up drinks using two glasses stacked together. I'm no pro, so I use my tin.
Fill your tin with ice. This is how you're going to chill your drink. Now, measure your ingredients in. I always recommend a top-shelf vodka when you're making martinis. Effen even makes a Cucumber Vodka that would be perfect here, but I used what we had in the house already.
Now just shake it up. I always go by the rule that it's shaken enough as soon as my fingers get cold. ;) Now pour it...
Then add your cucumber garnish, and enjoy poolside, deckside, or anywhere you plan to relax!
Now, I need to take a moment here to dispel the notion that it's all drinks and parties at my blog, given the recipe I've shared today, and the name "Happy Hour Projects". In fact, my drink recipes are only a very small part of what I blog about. You see, "Happy Hour" came to be shortly after my daughter was born - when I needed some craft-therapy, but didn't have a lot of time for projects anymore. What I focus on there is crafts and recipes - tutorial-style - that you can do in an hour or less, and many times with supplies you probably have on-hand already. That's my real Happy Hour!
I love blogging because I love the support and friendship that's in this creative community. Thanks so much for having me today, Kate, and we're all looking forward to seeing you back soon!