Summer Fest: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade
A trip to my mom's house in Westchester, N.Y., means stocking up on all of the great produce she grows in my childhood backyard. When I arrived this past weekend she was waiting to let me pick one of her prized Asian cucumbers. The variety is very long and sweet with a thin skin.
Inspired by the sweetness of this beauty, we decided to turn the cucumber into a refreshing summer lemonade. We picked up lemons at the store (no lemon trees in our backyard) and gathered mint from a neighbor's garden.
Peel and slice 2-3 cucumbers (or one very long cucumber!). They can be any variety, but the Asian cucumbers have a touch more sweetness, which is a nice complement to the tart lemon juice.
Juice about 15 lemons, or however many get you to 16 ounces of juice.
Pick off individual mint leaves — no need to chop as they'll be blended in.
Combine the cucumbers, lemon juice, mint and about a 1/2 - 2/3 cup simple syrup (depending on your sweet tooth) in a blender. Once you've thoroughly blended the ingredients, put them through a mesh cloth or sieve over your pitcher. Add ice-cold water until you've reached your desired tartness.
We thinly sliced some cucumbers and lemons as garnish. If you're serving this drink for a party or just want to liven up a Wednesday night, this lemonade is great when spiked with gin.
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