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
This was very much inspired by the idea of cucumber and mint raita and is a close cousin of the Indian lassi, albeit one with a bit of a kick.
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.
Cucumber in a cocktail is actually always welcome. It’s so refreshing. It’s the yogurt in this one that really shocks! This would be a nice healthy, milkshake type of drink for a hot day. Great idea!
What a perfect drink for hot summer weather! I love the combination of cucumber and gin. Can’t wait to give this a try.
Dear, sweet Spud, you have my undying gratitude for taking up the challenge this month! And, wow, did you knock it out of the park! I’m just loving the ginger and coriander additions and the yogurt is truly inspired. Really, this is a stunning combination … and a stunning photo to match. All hail the Cucumburt!
Mr. Diva is going to LOVE this. Thanks so much!!! :)
p.s. – my word verification is: “old harlots”! LOL
Duo Dishes: this is definitely one for a hot day – cool and refreshing all the way!
Phoo-D: enjoy :)
Diva: That word verification sure comes up with some interesting combinations at times, lol! So glad I could meet the challenge this month – hope you and Mr. Diva enjoy the Cucumburt many times over :)
This sounds fabulous! I love gin & tonics myself, and the rest of the ingredients sound totally up my alley too. (I guess I’m going to have to run to the store for cucumber!)
Anyway, your cocktail will be featured in the Spotlight on Foodwhirl today – http://foodwhirl.com/spotlight/spotlight-cool-as-a-cucumber-cocktail
It should be up there within the hour.
Thanks for sharing this – love your blog!
Thanks so much for that Dot, delighted to be featured!
Omigosh, Spud, this is the PERFECT drink for someone like me who likes to eat raita by itself!
Mixing drinks at my place is vodka and tonic!
I like cucumbers in my salad, and I think I would like it in a drink too. Mint + cucumber is always refreshing. I love salting cucumber, letting it sit, squeeze all the juice out and then add fresh mint and yogurt so I think I’m going to like to cucumbert. great name for a drink btw
Phyllis: I would happily eat raita by itself too – I guess that’s where this drink came from!
gastroanthropologist: cucumber and mint is such a refreshing combination – I’d be very happy with a bowl of salted cucumber, yoghurt and mint myself
This sounds so delicious and refreshing. We are big gin fans. I just love cucumber drinks. My favorite was a juice variety we had in Jamaica – cucumber, ginger and pineapple. I’m thinking there is a good variety of spirits that could spice that up a bit, gin included.
Not sure if anyone has said this yet, but I can see sipping on this while a few of the cucumbers are over my tired allergy filled eyes while laying in a hammock somewhere- nice cool breeze as a handsome hubby rubs my feet! Oh yeah!
Lori: cucumber, ginger and pineapple alone sounds divine but I’d agree that gin would likely be a great way to spice that up…
Chef E: bring on the hammock!
It’s like you can read my mind! GREG
I can, Greg. Scary, huh? :)
I like the sound of this! I mean it sounds strange, but good. Nice photo.
Thanks hungry dog! Yep, it’s not your usual cocktail but none the worse for that :)
Hey! Great post, I know you mentioned you were able to mix up a Gin and tonic and cucumber really is an excellent replacement to lime/lemon – You should give it a try!!
What an incredibly refreshing drink – I feel invigorated just checking out the ingredients.
Cucumburt rules! A spiked, lassi-like beverage featuring such a refreshing veg would hit the spot this summer. When we get back home, I’m definitely giving this a shot. Brilliant! 8-D
What a cool & cool idea!
A cucumber yoghurt grown up festive drink! yeah! Sounds so refreshing & good for you too, except the alcohol!
gourmetbutcher: Thanks for dropping in and thanks for the g&t tip – I will have to try some cucumber in there next time I indulge!
OysterCulture: Definitely a cooling drop for a warm summer’s day :)
Tangled Noodle: I do hope you enjoy it (and that I have done justice to your choice of ingredients!)
Sophie: it is refreshing and, yes, mostly healthy :)
I love eating fresh cucumber, but I cant imagine this tasting that nice? I’ve never seen any smoothie bars etc selling cucumber?
Well I guess, Chris, you won’t know ’til you try it (and who knows, it may not be to your taste) but I thought it rather swell :)
I have had something very similar to this whilst doing a juice diet. The cucumber in a smoothy is really nice. It makes the drink really refreshing!