Square One: Vodka and Now, Cucumber
Ah, cucumber season—it’s almost upon us! (You’ll never hear anyone speak reverently of cucumbers like this by the way, and it’s probably due to the cucumber’s representation in most big supermarkets: huge, bitter, waxy, seedy imposters. I think I'm bitter myself about them, come to think of it.) But soon, the markets will soon be flowing with the real deal. My favorites happen to be the slender, vaguely prickly, Japanese variety that I pick up at the Alemany market.
The next best choice might be Square One’s brand new cucumber vodka. Started by Alison Evanow and based in Novato, Square One is made from organic American rye using organic fermentation and distillation techniques—now make that rye and cucumber.
Cucumber water always reminds me of spas. Cucumber vodka would make a great spa cocktail, which personally I think is a great concept: Welcome to our bar/spa. Please slip on a robe and have a cucumber martini. Your massage therapist will be right with you. For now though, you'll have to stop at a bar like Elixir, where they're muddling honeydew melon and kumquats, adding the cucumber vodka and dry sherry and shaking it all up. Or get yourself to Nopa to try it out. There, they’re using the cucumber vodka in a refreshing Pimm’s Cup topped with Q Tonic, which is made with organic agave nectar and organic quinine too. It's got to be good for you.