Cucumber in a salad is one thing.
Cucumber in a cocktail, well now, that brings a whole new meaning to the term salad bar.
To be honest, potato milkshakes aside, my culinary experiments don’t normally extend to the beverage side of the house. Mixing drinks chez Spud, generally speaking, features a bottle of gin in one hand and a bottle of tonic in the other.
But I am learning that it doesn’t have to be that way.
With her Thirsty Thursday posts, the Diva on a Diet regularly demonstrates the enjoyment to be had from mixing it up, drinks-wise, at home. Now, with her Thirsty Thursday Challenge, she wants us to do the bartending for a change. For my part, I took up the call (as suggested by Tangled Noodle), to elevate cucumber from its usual position in the salad chorus to the center-stage spot worthy of a cocktail star.
The result is what I have (rather grandly) christened the Cucumburt. It’s perhaps not as grand as all that, but it is refreshing all the same. It marries cucumber, yoghurt, ginger, mint and coriander, along with a measure of gin and tonic, because, let’s face it, those old mixing habits die hard.
The Cucumburt: A Cocktail of Cucumber and Yoghurt
You can leave out the gin for a mocktail version or leave out both the gin and tonic for an entirely virtuous yoghurt drink.
- 100g cucumber
- 2-3cm piece of root ginger
- 5-6 mint leaves
- 2-3 tblsp loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 30 ml gin (I used Gordon’s London Dry Gin) – omit if making a mocktail
- 200g natural yoghurt
- 1 tblsp honey
- approx. 200ml tonic water
You’ll also need:
- A juicer, a blunt-ish instrument, such as a pestle, for muddling, a small strainer and a couple of glasses. A blender is also useful but not essential.
- Juice the cucumber and ginger.
- Add the mint and coriander leaves, lime juice, cucumber and ginger juice, and gin (if using) to a cocktail shaker or glass, and muddle to release the oils from the leaves. You could also use a mortar and pestle for this.
- Place the yoghurt and honey into a blender or food processor and strain in the muddled juices, discarding the leaves. Blend to combine. Alternatively you can whisk the ingredients together very well by hand. It will look rather like pale green milk.
- Divide the drink between two glasses, top up with tonic water and enjoy.
- As mentioned above, omit the gin for a mocktail or omit both the gin and tonic for a straight yoghurt drink. You could also add a small amount of flat leaf parsley to this for a more herbal taste.
- Cocktail or mocktail for 2.