Gingerale with Cucumber

By Amanda Hesser
May 27, 2011
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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

Makes: 2 drinks (can easily be doubled)

  • 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.

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