Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cucumber Water

I guarantee after today you will never look at cucumbers the same way.  For most of us, cucumbers are used in a variety of dishes or eaten as snacks. However, what I have for you today is not a dish, but a delicious drink. In Mexican cuisine, various fruits and vegetables are blended with water to create what is known in Spanish as, Agua Fresca. I originally was inspired to create my own recipe for this refreshing drink from my older sister, Lorena, and my mother-in-law. My sister makes a drink very similar to this one by making limeade and adding in chopped cucumbers. However, my mother-in-law doesn’t make a limeade base, but simply blends cucumbers together for color and flavor. Personally, I like both drinks, but I wanted to create my own recipe. The first time I made this drink, it was delicious, but I couldn’t taste the flavor from the ten million limes I felt I squeezed in. Then a light bulb went off inside my head and I thought, “make a simple syrup.” I ended up making a simple syrup and added in the zest of the lime to infuse it with lime flavor, which ended up giving my drink the flavor I was looking for. This drink is perfect to serve on a hot day. It’s delicious, sweet, and refreshing. Now….I am not only giving you this recipe for a great spring/summer beverage, but giving you a tip on how to turn it into a great cocktail as well. The idea of this cocktail came to me this morning, which is weird because I don’t normally think of drinking or creating cocktails at ten in the morning, and I must say….. it’s pretty frikin’ good! This drink is filled with sweet and refreshing flavors from the cucumber water, yet the salty flavor that lingers on the palate is quite enjoyable too. Next time you make this beverage, you too will be asking yourself if it’s five o’clock somewhere!

Cucumber Water
Source: L.Chavez. Inspired by L.Armenta and H.Sandoval.
Serves 4

2 cumbers, washed and sliced
9 cups water total, set one aside
1 cup sugar
Juice of 3 limes
Zest of 1 lime

  1. In a small pot, bring together one cup of water, sugar, and the zest of one lime. Let ingredients come to a simmer and turn off.
  2. Meanwhile, fill blender with 4 cups of water and 1 of the 2 cucumbers and blend for 2 minutes. Pour liquid through a strainer into a pitcher. Repeat step with second cucumber.
  3. Once all ingredients have been blended, strained, and poured into the pitcher, add in lime juice and lime flavored simple syrup.  Add in as much simple syrup as you’d like. (I added in about ¾ of syrup into the pitcher I prepared.)
  4. Serve drink with ice.

Southern Chavez

6 ounces of cucumber water
Juice of 1 lime
½-1 shot of any white tequila
Margarita salt for rim

  1. Rim a rocks glass with lime and dip into margarita salt.
  2. Pour ice into rocks glass.
  3. In a shaker, combine cucumber water, lime juice, and tequila. Shake and pour drink into rimmed rocks glass.
  4. Garnish with lime
Source: L.Chavez. Sweet,Spicy, and Sassy Original.