I never thought I would say it, not in a million years, but I may be cheating! Cheating on my love of margaritas, that is. Margaritas have been my go to cocktail since I can remember and when skinny margaritas were introduced, I thought I would never love another. Well, clearly I spoke too soon! Cucumber cocktails, although fairly new to me, have been around for some time now. Maybe my bias toward the sweet and sour spirit blinded me, but now I see.
I started ordering cocktails with cucumbers after my first cucumber cocktail at BlackFinn. I have listed a few of our faves below...
All three recipes "develop" their flavors very differently. I say developed as this depends on how much muddling and how long you are willing to shake the shaker! After sampling the Juniper Fusion at Yard House, I was able to locate the actual recipe so I could made this wonderful concoction at home. What sealed the deal for me was the freshly muddled cucumbers and the orange bitters. What a combination! The cocktail was refreshing, light and smooth. The Cucumber Infused "Water", from BlackFinn, was an incredibly simple cocktail that will blow you away with its incorporation of white cranberry juice, which is what I like to call "grape juice with a kick". And last but not least, my absolute favorite, the Cucumber Lemonade. Do we have an open slot for our Slap Somebody Award for BLU? Yep, it's that good. It is summetime-sweet but not as sweet as you would imagine. On top of that, it's low in calories! Feel free to adjust the ratio of gin/vodka on the recipes below to suite your taste.
That is the great thing about most cucumber cocktails...they are nice to the waist and the thighs. No bra back with these babies! Unlike a margarita, you can go in for a few rounds and not feel utterly depressed afterwards. I am sure that cucumbers will become your cocktails' BFF. Move over salad! You can check them out at restaurants in and outside of the Houston area, make them at home, and if you would like to take a gander, you can even try your hand a great recipe for homemade cucumber infused vodka! Infusions have also become the standard and the days of "plain ole" vodkas have taken a back seat. Here is a great article, written by Shutterbean, that takes you through a fairly simplistic approach to this process. Have you made any of your own infusions?:
Juniper Fusion (available at Yard House)
1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. homemade citrus agave blend
Dash of orange bitters
Muddled cucumbers and strawberries
Photo courtesy of Yard House
Cucumber Infused “Water” (available at Black Finn)
2 oz. Hendrick’s herbal cucumber gin
4 oz. White cranberry juice
1 T Simple syrup
Cucumber Lemonade (available at BLU)
1 low calorie sweetener
1 ounce cucumber vodka
4 ounces lime juice (you can also use lemonade)
~ Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones, Urban Swank