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A Cucumber Vodka Cocktail: The Watermelon Refresher

Cucumber, perhaps my favorite vegetable, is the supreme food for summer. Light, crisp, a mixture of sweet and bitter, cucumber is just made for eating … and drinking. As my colleague Sara Deseran pointed out last week in her Bits and Bites posting, Square One, the locally masterminded organic vodka company, has just released its cucumber-flavored vodka, and it's a winner. Normally, I don't get particularly excited about flavored vodkas, but this one is novel and very well made.

I'm a fan of simply muddling fresh cucumber into a drink, as we do for several of our drinks at Cantina. The only danger is the variability of the cucumbers. Though we peel them all before using, sometimes cucumber flesh is more bitter than other times and you never know exactly what you're going to get when you bring the produce in. The good thing about Square One Cucumber is that the makers have been able to carefully control the aspects of cucumber flavor they've captured and infused. The result is a subtle, but ultimately sweet and refreshing flavored vodka.

Square One offers several cucumber cocktails on its website, but of those, this is the one I can't wait to try. Something tells me this could be the drink of the summer:

Watermelon Refresher (adapted from a recipe by Allison Evanow)

5 sprigs of mint
1/4 oz. organic agave nectar (or to taste)
ice
1 1/2 oz. watermelon juice*
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. Square One Cucumber vodka

Remove leaves from all but one sprig of mint, reserving that sprig for garnish. Place mint leaves and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker and muddle for 15 seconds. Add ice, watermelon juice, lemon juice and vodka and shake for 15 seconds. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the remaining mint sprig.



* Watermelon juice - Take one cup of cut watermelon and place in blender. Blend on high until pureed. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain mixture into a glass or bowl. Discard remaining solids from strainer. Will yield enough juice for 4 cocktails.