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!). - 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! - thehappycookVictoria 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

for the drink

  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. 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.

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