Forget the Salad: Put Your Cucumber in a Drink, with Tequila

June  1, 2015

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.

Today: All aboard! Kendra's directing a three-part summer drinks booze cruise. First stop: tequila.

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Grab a nautical-themed pashmina afghan, lovers and friends, because the Hangry Booze Cruise has begun! The sun is out, the days are long, and you need something delicious to drink for less than $16 (New York bars do not mess around). 

Over the next few weeks, Hangry will be a spot for summery cocktails; whether you’re throwing a classy dinner party or you need a giant jug of something to take to a park picnic, I’ve got you covered. There is no actual boat involved, and also I’ve never actually been on a booze cruise, but I love a good rhyme so ANCHORS AWAY. 

A word from your cruise director: Be responsible! In addition to thoroughly enjoying these drinks, please eat food and drink water so you don’t hate me tomorrow morning. You know how this goes. 

More: You know what would be good to snack on whilst drinking? Wasabi pea snack mix.

First up is a twist on the classic lime margarita, which my mother and I stumbled upon while iterating on a few recipes. Iterating is a word I’m using here to mean “we made a bunch of drinks to find our favorite variation and then still drank all of them, because tequila.” The unanimous winner was heavy on the cucumber juice, with a bit of grapefruit to brighten it, and neither of us (nor my father, who wandered in to see what all the fuss was about) could put it down. 

Cucumber juice is a weird thing. My preference is to leave it a little rustic—in other words, to only push the puréed gourd through a strainer once. This results in a thicker, cloudier juice. I’ve had clear-as-day cucumber margaritas in Mexican restaurants that were okay, but in straining the veggie within an inch of its life, the drink ultimately suffered—something inherently refreshing about cucumbers was lost in that transaction. I say: Overstraining is for fussy people. Long live the natural cuke.

Hothouse Cooler

Makes 1 drink

For the cucumber juice:

1 large English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped

For one drink:

1 1/2 ounces tequila
1 1/2 ounces triple sec
1 ounce grapefruit juice
3 ounces cucumber juice 
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Lime wedge and kosher salt, for the rim

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

First photo by Armando Rafael; second by James Ransom

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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