Saving the Planet, One Drink at a Time Pt. 1

Hey! I’m back.

So what’s all this talk about sustainability and saving the planet? Well I have always wanted to find a way to close the loop and find ways to reuse an ingredient multiple times. It’s a challenge, but I love challenges.

Today I want to talk about Cucumbers, the green disk that you throw into a cucumber martini and let dry out. At almost every bar I have ever worked, Cucumbers would come in and then get neglected and eventually tossed. Big bummer.

Which brings me to this moment. A quarantine kitchen full of cucumbers. All of them still shrink wrapped and waiting to be used. I’ve made cucumber cordials, syrups, tinctures, infusions, pickles, and even made a “beer” from cucumbers (more on that later) so where else can I go? Well how about acidifying cucumbers and using it as a bright alternative to citrus?

Acidified Cucumbers

800 grams Peeled and rough chopped English Cucumbers

750 ml Distilled or Filtered Water

7 grams Malic Acid

21 grams Citric Acid

64 grams Cane Sugar

Now hear me out. I know it sounds slightly strange, and a little confusing, but it works. The acidity akin to that of a lemon with the nose of fresh cucumbers and on the palette a brighter vibrant cucumber.

Now that it’s made, what do you do with it? Excellent question. I’ve been a big fan of Hendricks Orbium since rumors where going around that Hendricks was going to take their amazing gin and give it a drier backbone, and I feel this is the best place to start.

Before that, let me explain how to make the Acidified Cucumber, first weigh out all the dry ingredients separately using a Digital Scale and make sure to keep them dry during prep. Measure out the filtered or distilled water and pour into a Blender, now add the dry ingredients and blend on low speed for five minutes (this will ensure the sugar dissolves). Once the cucumbers are peeled and chopped into manageable pieces feed them slowly into the blender until fully homogenized. Now it’s time to strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve like a Chinois. Using a spatula or ladle to push the mixture through will speed things up. Discard the pulp (for now, more ideas on that later) and strain the acidified cucumber once more through the fine mesh sieve. Bottle and refrigerate. The color should be vibrant green and tart to the taste.

Now to tackle the drink…

Verdant Summer

50 ml Hendricks Orbium

5 ml Lustau Manzanilla Sherry

20 ml Acidified Cucumber

15 ml Corriander Syrup

15 ml Yogurt Whey

Build in a shaking tin, add ice then shake hard in a wave motion for 12 seconds. Double strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass, garnish with a sliced cucumber.


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