Cucumber & Vodka Tonic

Flavoured vodka? Pass. In fact, just cruising the booze aisle eyeing the nauseatingly sweet combinations is enough to give me a hangover. So when I came across the cucumber vodka and stopped, no one was more surprised than I was. Alas, I’d seen three different celebrity chefs mixing up cucumber cocktails that week, so I took it as a sign from the TV gods and stirred up a pitcher of these. Hmm…

Ingredients (makes 4)

  • 1 long English cucumber, juiced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup cucumber vodka (we used Prairie Cucumber Vodka)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • Tonic water, to top
  • 4 long, thin strips of cucumber, to garnish
  • 4 lime wedges, to garnish

To make the cucumber juice, simply wash a long English cucumber, slice it into a tall container that an immersion blender will fit in, and blitz it until watery (a food processor will do the trick, too). Strain the liquid through a paper towel, and then pour the cucumber juice into a pitcher.

To the pitcher with cucumber juice, add the cucumber vodka, apple juice, Cointreau, and lime juice. Stir to combine, and place in the fridge to chill. When it’s cocktail time, muddle 4 mint leaves in 4 tumblers, and then discard the leaves. Fill each tumbler with ice, pour in the chilled booze, top with a splash of tonic water, and stir to combine. Garnish with cucumber and lime, and sip, sip, hooray!

The verdict: I know it should be obvious, but this drink really tastes of cucumber. Like a boozy spa in a glass—health halo affect included. The vodka itself is barely a note, which makes this one of those cocktails you need to remind yourself to sip, which might be impossible on a hot-shouldered day. The verdict? Refreshing and very easy drinking—if you like cucumbers. If not, you won’t be able to get over it (one of us couldn’t).

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