Cucurbit Cooler

By • July 12, 2011 • 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Cucurbitaceae is a plant family that includes cucumbers, melons, and squashes. The sweet, herbal syrup balances nicely with the fresh cucumber and watermelon. Enjoy in moderation (these go down very easily!). - gingerrootgingerroot

Food52 Review: A poolside drink? Yes! Refeshing? Yes! More-ish? Definitely. This cucumber-watermelon-vodka cocktail with cilantro infusion is certainly a delicious hot afternoon beverage. The longer I left the ingredients to infuse, the better it became (after all, things do get better with age!). I happened to have some ancho chili powder handy, so added a few pinches of that! Divine! - thehappycookthehappycook

Makes 1 drink

for the drink

  • 1 tablespoon grated Japanese or English cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon watermelon (I scooped it right out)
  • 2 tablespoons lime-citrus-cilantro syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 -2 ounce vodka
  • 11/2 teaspoons lime juice (I used 1 juicy wedge of a Tahitian lime)
  • 1 ounce sparkling water
  1. Add grated cucumber and scoop of watermelon to an old-fashioned glass. Gently smush watermelon into cucumber with a pestle, and add ice cubes to glass. Add syrup, vodka, lime juice and top with soda. Stir to combine. Enjoy! Note: If you like your poolside cocktails to be deliciously sneaky, go with 1 1/2 ounces of vodka. If you like to know you are drinking something delicious but sneaky, go with 2 ounces.

for the lime-citrus-cilantro syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 long peels of lime (from the circumference of a larger variety such as Tahitian)
  • 1/4 cup fresh tangerine or Clementine juice
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  1. Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar has dissolved, add lime peel and tangerine juice. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until thickened, 20 minutes. Add cilantro and boil for 1 minute. Strain mixture through a sieve into a wide glass container to remove solids. Transfer to a glass container with an airtight lid. Allow mixture to cool slightly, cover and refrigerate until cold, preferably overnight.
Jump to Comments (6)

Tags: cilantro syrup, cucumber, Easy, refreshing, summer cocktail, watermelon

Comments (6) Questions (0)


about 3 years ago Sagegreen

This sounds lovely!


about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, Sagegreen! I hope to get a picture up soon.


about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

This sounds perfect! And addictive!


about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, mrslarkin! The watermelon at the bottom is especially delicious once you are done with the drink.


about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

You've outdone yourself with this one. The drink sounds fabulous, and I bet the syrup would also combine well with some lime juice and water or seltzer for a sophisticated riff on limeade or soda.


about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, hardlikearmour! The syrup adds a really nice, but unexpected (b/c of the cilantro) flavor dimension. They are dangerous though -I sipped (actually it was more like a slurp) mine down pretty quickly.