Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cucumber Summer

Seattle’s weather finally caught up with the rest of the country! Summer is streaming through the trees outside our apartment, bouncing all shades of green and gold down to the street. The snap peas birthed plump 3-inch pods overnight, the jalapeno has tiny nubs of sets, and the fennel is mimicking the trees across the way.

It’s time to taste the green.

This drink can be made as either a cocktail or a refreshing afternoon soda. The frozen blueberries will keep it colder longer, adding their sweetness gradually to the drink as they thaw. They make a fun crunch to nibble when you're finished! I prefer this more savory, with club soda, but ginger ale adds a nice sweetness.

Cucumber-Fennel Fizz
Cucumber-Fennel Fizz
Makes 2 tall glasses

1 English cucumber
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce unfiltered apple cider vinegar
4 ice cubes
1 inch fresh fennel (more as desired)
2 ounces gin (optional)
1 can club soda or ginger ale
2 short stalks fresh fennel for garnish
10 frozen blueberries

Skin cucumber, cut into 4 chunks, and toss into blender. Add lime juice, apple cider vinegar, ice, and 1-inch stalk fresh fennel. Add gin if desired. Blend until smooth and foamy, about 2 minutes. Don't be tempted to add more liquid unless your cucumber is exceptionally dry and it refuses to blend. (In which case add a dash of soda.)

Share the cucumber mix between two glasses, adding either club soda or ginger ale in a 1:1 ratio. Add 5 frozen blueberries to each glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh fennel.

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