Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays: Cucumber Edition

First off, this picture doesn't do this drink justice. To be honest, it never had a fighting chance. I was hot, tired and thirsty when I made it - and anxious to take the first sip. Patience never was one of my virtues. I wonder if cucumbers are patient?

If not, they need not worry, they're blessed with a host of other virtues sure to compensate. Cucumbers are crisp, brightly green in flavor, kinda tart yet a little bit sweet, and possessed of marvelous cooling properties. It is these cooling properties that intrigue me, in so far as mixology is concerned.

For my cucumber Challenge entry, I wanted to think outside the box a little bit and reach for something, perhaps, a bit unusual: Mezcal. And, no, I'm not talking about that rot-gut stuff of wormy legend. Today's Mezcal is a premium spirit and it is distinctly sans worm. We've been having fun mixing it up with Mezcal, Chez Diva, and I'm well pleased with the results. I'll offer a more detailed explanation of the spirit in subsequent posts - but for now, the simplest way to describe it is: a smoked tequila. Leaves of the agave plant are roasted over hot rocks and mesquite, which combine to lend a pronounced smoky flavor to the spirit.

Since we happened to have a bottle of Sombra Mezcal on hand, I looked to their website for recipe options and lo and behold, there was a drink entitled: Cool as a Cucumber. Sold! While the original recipe calls for some passion fruit nectar, I was unable to find any at my local market so I've substituted some papaya juice instead. The result? A crisp, refreshing cocktail with a slightly smoky finish. Magnificent!

Cool as a Cucumber:
recipe adapted from Sombraoaxaca.com
  • 1 1/2 ounces Sombra Mezcal
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce papaya or passion fruit nectar
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 ounce ginger beer
  • some ground chile powder for garnish
1. Place the lime juice, agave nectar and cucumber slices into the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle with a muddling tool to crush slightly the cucumber and release its juice.

2. Add the Sombra, papaya (or passion fruit) juice, and the ginger beer and fill the shaker with ice. Cover and shake well until the outside of the shaker frosts. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and sprinkle a bit of chile powder on top. Serve and enjoy, repeat as necessary!

I used some New Mexican chile powder, but anything with a slightly spicy kick will do. This little sprinkle may seem like a frivolous garnish, but do not skip it - that slight hint of spice really adds something special to the mix.

The cucumber, agave nectar and fruit juice combine to temper the smoke of the mezcal and the finished drink is remarkably smooth and balanced. While initial notes are slightly sweet and a bit green, the final note is softly smoky and thoroughly intriguing. This is a cool, crisp drink that's just perfect for the warmer weather. In fact, its almost like a cucumber margarita. A winning combination in my book. I hope you'll try it!

There's still time to enter this month's Thirsty Thursday's Challenge. Details to be found here, entries are to be posted and emailed to me by midnight on Monday, May 31st. I hope you'll join us!

Cheers!

17 comments:

Mo Diva said...

i coulda used one of those yesterday! i was sweating my (insert something naughty here) off.

Catherine said...

What a wonderful drink for the warmer weather! I will try this soon!
Cheers~

The Duo Dishes said...

Cucumber is the new black. It may be one of the most used ingredients in summer cocktails this year!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Cucumbers are a great refresher, I'm sure this is the perfect summer drink daaaahling. When you are done, you can put the cucumbers on your eyes and take a nap LOL :). THen u will really look refreshed!!!
*kisses* HH

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo - no kidding, yesterday was miserable! Its too early for that kind of heat!

Catherine - thanks! I hope you enjoy it!

Duo - you're so right, cukes are def. the new black! They're popping up everywhere lately!

HH - that nap sounds soooo good! LOL

Suzy said...

Oh, that looks so refreshing and exotic!

stephchows said...

ok i totally thought that was a pickle... LOL. no worries I'd want to dive right in too!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Suzy - thanks, its is a bit exotic, nice to have something different for a change too.

Steph - LOL! In a way, I guess it is a pickle ... a raw one! :)

Tangled Noodle said...

This would be the perfect drink for me right now as the hubs and I relax after a long day of driving to reach New Mexico! How appropriate, then, is the NM chile powder that you used. 8-D

I was hoping to post my Thirsty Thursday entry tonight but since we're on the road, getting enough time to type up a few lines hasn't been as easy as I thought. But I promise I'll make the deadline!

dining table said...

This looks like a very refreshing drink! The heatwave has been here for months and I am fed up of the same drinks.

Debinhawaii said...

This sounds delicious--I love anything with cucumber in it. ;-)

Rose Whisperer said...

I like this drink! Didn't think I would, but it looks good! Thanks for the kind words about my blog and the peaches! I actually think I may cheat and just do the peach cobbler (canned peaches, dry butter cake mix, topped w/butter - bake @ 325 for 20 minutes.) How easy is that??

Is there an easier way to respond to comments (w/o having to leave the post?) I've always gone onto the writer's blog and left replies under their comments ... BUT, it gives me a chance to visit their blog! Have a good holiday!

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Sook said...

I love the sound of that drink! :)

Daily Spud said...

Ooh, mezcal sounds like something I want to get to know. Am definitely intrigued by the combination of cool cucumber and smoky liquor!

pixelgal said...

Rose,
Even if you leave the original post you can get back to it at the top of the comment section (Show original post). Then you can see the post plus comments.
Diva,
Soon there will be home-grown cukes so you can try this out on the famiglia!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Hi!! I'm so excited to have just found your blog! This drink looks and sounds delicious! I would have never thought to put those things together. I must try this!!