Fourth of July

Cucurbit Cooler

July 12, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes 1 drink
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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 what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Sagegreen
  • mrslarkin
  • hardlikearmour
  • 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.

7 Reviews

LeBec F. May 4, 2015
WOW, gr,you had me at cucumber, lime and cilantro! i am WICKED impressed; can't wait to make this!
Sagegreen July 12, 2011
This sounds lovely!
gingerroot July 12, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen! I hope to get a picture up soon.
mrslarkin July 12, 2011
This sounds perfect! And addictive!
gingerroot July 12, 2011
Thank you, mrslarkin! The watermelon at the bottom is especially delicious once you are done with the drink.
hardlikearmour July 12, 2011
You've outdone yourself with this one. The drink sounds fabulous, and I bet the syrup would also combine well with some lime juice and water or seltzer for a sophisticated riff on limeade or soda.
gingerroot July 12, 2011
Thanks, hardlikearmour! The syrup adds a really nice, but unexpected (b/c of the cilantro) flavor dimension. They are dangerous though -I sipped (actually it was more like a slurp) mine down pretty quickly.