5 Ingredients or Fewer

Gingerale with Cucumber

May 27, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Makes 2 drinks (can easily be doubled)
Author Notes

I will buy tabletop goods until I'm bankrupt, but you can't get me to buy another countertop item. No toasters are allowed. No bread box. And certainly no knick knacks will be found on my counter. Just a workhorse mixer and the bare necessities: coffee maker, tea kettle, salt bowl, oil, and utensil jars (the last of which I'd usually banish to a hanging rack but I've let my guard down).

But then everyone was talking about seltzer. Kristen wrote this article on seltzer makers. And Jenny had this one in her home. I wanted spritzy, optimistic drinks like everyone else, and I really wanted to get rid of the box of cheap seltzer we always had lying around for me to trip over.

Just this once, I let in another countertop squatter: the SodaStream. We've been getting to know each other over the past few weeks. He's slim and unassuming. He doesn't require an outlet. And he's only noisy when swooshing air into tap water. My kids love him. My husband has a new toy. And I now have a small but burgeoning repertory of summer drinks.
Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • Three 4-inch-long slices English cucumber
  • 2-inch piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • Chilled seltzer
  1. Put one of the cucumber slices in the seltzer bottle. Let sit while you make the drink.
  2. Put the ginger, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring if needed. Strain and let cool completely.
  3. Fill two tumblers halfway with ice. Add 3 tablespoons ginger syrup to each glass. Fill the glass with the seltzer -- and stir and taste as you go -- add just enough seltzer to make the drink as sweet and gingery as you like. Garnish each glass with a cucumber slice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • walkie74
  • Burnt Offerings
    Burnt Offerings
  • Sam1148
  • kellie@foodtoglow
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

10 Reviews

Sally May 14, 2015
What is chilled seltzer?
Amanda H. May 14, 2015
Oh -- just seltzer water that you've chilled in the fridge.
walkie74 February 21, 2014
This sounds so bloody good...and a great alternative when you just don't feel like alcohol.
Burnt O. June 18, 2011
This was off the hook good. Very refreshing on a hot day.
Amanda H. June 18, 2011
Glad you enjoyed it!
Sam1148 May 27, 2011
A question and comment: When you say put the cucumber slice in the bottle..is that before it's charged, or after? From the video's I've seen the opening on the bottles that use plastic are larger--the penguin model has a much smaller opening, like a normal soda bottle and it would difficult if not impossible to place a cucumber slice in there and remove it.
Amanda H. May 27, 2011
Ah, interesting. SodaStream bottles have a wide mouth. I meant post-charge. If you can't fit it then add the cucumber to the finished drink and nevermind doing this in-advance step.
Sam1148 May 27, 2011
Yes, My soda stream uses the glass bottles with narrow opening. Maybe 'muddling' cucumber in the glass would release more of the goodness for those without the wide mouth bottles. I love cucumber based drinks in the summer--so refreshing! Thank you so much for posting these, as summer time and club soda are wonderful!
Sam1148 May 27, 2011
I must try the ginger syrup. I'm surprised I haven't made it yet.
Also, that drink is begging for a shot of pimms cup #1.

kellie@foodtoglow May 27, 2011
This sounds unique, and really interesting. I love 'normal' water with cucumber slices so this takes it up a notch. Sounds good for my chemo patients too. Thanks for posting.