I had some left over cucumber juice from my Professoressa Montenegro the other night and I want to find something that used it before it went bad. I didn't have any other recipes on tap that called for the juice, so it was time to try to cobble something together. Gin and cucumber always seem to go pretty well together, so I thought I might go with something that combined those two. It was pretty easy to keep it simple and go with some type of martini variation.
Initially, I tried just going with gin and about a half ounce of cucumber juice. The gin, especially this St. George Reposado Dry Rye Gin (lovely stuff, by the way), simply overwhelmed the juice. So I doubled up on it and got closer, but it was too cucumbery and a bit too bitter. To bring it back more towards the martini, I mixed in a half ounce of Dolin Dry Vermouth and that was much more pleasing. I threw in a dash of my Cilantro-Lime bitters to give it a bit more characters, stirred it with some ice and strained it into a cocktail coupe.
The result is something with the gin upfront and a definite cucumber feel on the back. The vermouth mellows it out a bit and I'm not sure I'm really getting the bitters at all. Next time, I'll probably try a more herbal (but robust) gin, cut the juice back to 3/4 oz and throw in another dash or two of the bitters. Still, I'm calling this one a qualified success.
- 2 oz. botanical-forward Gin
- 1 oz fresh Cucumber Juice
- 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
- 1 dash Cilantro-Lime Bitters (homemade)
- Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add some ice, and stir for about 15 seconds
- Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.
- Garnish with a slice of cucumber (I was too lazy to do this tonight) and maybe a little fresh cilantro.
As previously described, to make fresh cucumber juice, peel a cucumber, slice off and discard the ends, cut it into pieces and puree it in a food processor or blender. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, using a spatula to press on the pulp to extract all of the juice. 1 cucumber makes a few ounce of juice, which will last a week in the fridge.