Cucurbit Cooler

July 12, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

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


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


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.

More Great Recipes:
Cocktail|Cilantro|Fruit|Lime Juice|Melon|Tangerine|Vodka|Fourth of July|Summer|Memorial Day|Vegan|Vegetarian

Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

LE B. 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!
Author Comment
gingerroot July 12, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen! I hope to get a picture up soon.
mrslarkin July 12, 2011
This sounds perfect! And addictive!
Author Comment
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.
Author Comment
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.