Fourth of July

Cucurbit Cooler

July 12, 2011
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!). - gingerroot —gingerroot

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - thehappycook —Victoria Ross

  • Makes 1 drink
Ingredients
  • 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 ounces vodka
  • 11/2 teaspoon lime juice (I used 1 juicy wedge of a Tahitian lime)
  • 1 ounce sparkling water
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. for the drink
  2. 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.
  1. for the lime-citrus-cilantro syrup
  2. 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.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LE BEC FIN
    LE BEC FIN
  • Sagegreen
    Sagegreen
  • mrslarkin
    mrslarkin
  • hardlikearmour
    hardlikearmour
  • gingerroot
    gingerroot
Review
gingerroot

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.