Don’t let the color of today’s cocktail (or mocktail!) turn you off. It’s gloriously GREEN, but tastes as sweet and refreshing as standard juice. And I’m willing to bet that if you served this over Labor Day with a little vodka, no one would complain.
Let’s get into this, shall we?
I am a huge fan of cucumber cocktails. If there is a cucumber martini on a drink menu, I almost always order it. Or, recently, I’ve really been into Hendrick’s gin and tonic with copious amounts of lime and cucumber slices. It’s so refreshing! And also doesn’t make me feel like death the next morning. I’m really loving how cucumber has such a presence on cocktail menus these days. I hope it’s a trend that lasts!
I made you a cucumber martini a couple years ago, and while that was super delish, I think today’s recipe takes the cake for my favorite homemade cucumber drink to date. And here’s why.
Not only do you get the lovely lightness and burst of freshness from cucumber and mint, but you get some natural sweetness as well. No added sugar necessary! All it takes is a whirl in the blender to make this delicious juice. I throw in seedless cucumbers (you don’t even have to peel them), a large bunch of fresh mint, a couple kiwi, some green grapes, and lime juice. You blend it until very smooth (a little water added in helps with this), and then strain it to get rid of any unpleasant pulp.
I am strictly a pulp-free gal. I loooooathe pulp in my orange juice, for example. So, for me, the straining step is key. If you don’t mind a thicker, pulpier juice, then skip this step. No biggie.
And because this juice is all fruit and veggies, you can feel good about pouring a huge glass of it. And then adding a generous glug or two of vodka. Because, health! We’re technically still drinking our greens here.
In all honesty, this drink is perfectly delicious sans booze. When I first tested it out, I consumed an entire glass just as is (the second time around, though, I went all in with the vodka. I’m not sure which version is my fav [probably the one with the vodka]).
Buuuut, this weekend is Labor Day. A three-day weekend. Which means that vodka should definitely be invited to the party! Plus, anything with “cooler” in the title automatically gets entrance to the bash, right? Right.
If you’re looking for a fun, slightly different drink to serve that is refreshing, slightly sweet, and easy to drink, make these coolers. They are the perfect way to say farewell to summer.
2 seedless cucumbers, chopped
2 cups green grapes
3 kiwi fruit, peeled
1 large bunch (15-20 sprigs) of fresh mint
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup of water
Sweetener of choice (optional - see NOTE below)
Frozen green grapes
Sliced kiwi fruit
Vodka, chilled (optional!)
Place the cucumbers, grapes, kiwi, mint, lime juice, and water in a blender and blend until it is super smooth.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl or pitcher and pour the puree through the strainer into the bowl/pitcher. Press on the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the pulp.
Chill the cucumber fruit juice for at least an hour before serving.
Fill a pitcher with lots of ice and pour in the cucumber fruit juice.
If serving without alcohol, pour the juice as is into glasses filled with ice and garnish with lime wedges, frozen grapes, sliced kiwi, additional cucumber, and mint sprigs.
If serving with alcohol, mix 1 cup of chilled vodka into the pitcher before pouring into glasses and garnishing.
I found the juice to be plenty sweet with the fruit alone, but if you prefer a sweeter juice, add in a drizzle of liquid sweetener: honey, agave, or even simple syrup.