This final recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen. I recommend the blog and the cookbook if you don’t know it. This is a wonderful, refreshing Indian Summer cooler. You will need 1 large cucumber, about 1 lb. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half (if you use an English cucumber from the store you probably don’t need to peel it), remove any large seeds with a teaspoon, and cut it into chunks. Puree it in your blender until smooth, then let the blender run for another 30 seconds to a minute until it is liquid. Strain the contents of the blender through a coffee filter into a jar or carafe. Juice enough lemons and limes (I used about 7 lemons and 3 limes) to make 1 cup of juice and add it to the cucumber juice. Add another 2 cups of cold water and 1/3 cup of sugar (to taste), there you have it. Shake the container a few times and put it into the refrigerator, the sugar will dissolve. A simple syrup would also work but I didn’t find it was necessary and it is an extra step. Other sweeteners such as agave syrup or honey could also work, they will change the flavor. I used organic cane sugar from Trader Joe’s. Serve well chilled. In Smitten Kitchen they recommend adding some seltzer when you serve it, I only had sparkling water on hand and it was fine.
This is good as is or served over ice with a jigger of gin or vodka, with or without the sparkling water. Leaving off the 2 cups of water (but keeping some sugar) it makes quite a good mixer for cocktails. I also froze some of the concentrate in ice cube trays, I plan to use them in margaritas and will let you know how they turn out.
1 large cucumber, peeled and large seeds removed
7 lemons and 3 limes – enough to make 1 cup of juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups cold water