The temperature is rising in the Bay Area and Cinco de Mayo is approaching- it’s a perfect time to whip up some cucumber juice mix! The cucumber mix is versatile- it can be watered down and used as a base for a light refreshing glass of Agua de Pepino (Cucumber Water) or mixed with alcohol such as some liqueurs and tequila for a great summer margarita. On top of its sweet refreshing taste on a hot day, it’s got a vibrant green color that’s just interesting to look at. Luckily today at the market, the produce aisle was loaded with inexpensive cucumbers.
2 Large Cucumbers
Although I prefer a mix, its ok to just use limes or just lemons
Simple syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water)
1. Make your simple syrup. Its pretty easy just take equal parts water and sugar, throw it in a pot, and bring to a boil/simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, take it off the heat and put aside.
2. Juice your cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers, slice off the ends, and chop into several large pieces. If you’re lazy, you could juice the cucumbers with the skin on, but it does darken the color tone of the juice and might look as pretty if you’re making this for guests.
Put the sliced cucumbers in a food processor or blender and blend until it becomes pulp.
Pour the cucumber pulp into the strainer (if you’re extra fancy, line the strainer with cheese cloth) and use a spatula to gently stir the mash until no more juice is separating out.
If you don’t want to bust out so much equipment, you can juice the cucumbers manually by taking the peeled cucumbers and grating it with a cheese grater directly above the strainer.
Throw away the pulp and set aside all the extracted cucumber juice.
3. Juice the lemons and limes. Pretty straightforward, I use a handy citrus squeezer, but you can work on your hand strength and squeeze out the juice. The juice should yield you about 4-5 ounces of liquid (about 2-2.5 ounces each).
4. Mix the cucumber, lemon, and lime juice together. Add about ½ teaspoon of salt.
5. Stir in about 1 ounce of simple syrup, and you are finished.
You can enjoy this mix in a variety of ways- water it down a bit and have a nice Agua de Pepino. You can use it as a base for a margarita and add some silver tequila and triple sec. To top it off, you can rim the glass with a mixture of salt, sugar, and chile powder. I personally enjoy the cucumber mix with a little bit of Hendricks gin and lots of ice.