The Friday Tipple: Salted Cucumber Pimm’s

Salted Cucumber Pimm's

Summer is still in the air, Boozers. While we are mentally ready to move on to the snap of an autumn chill, we heard otherwise this week from Baltimore Bill, the Punxsutawney Phil of Maryland; apparently our little blue crab friend scuttled his way toward a prediction of a warm fall and, we have to admit, he seems to be right so far. If that is the case, then we decided we may as well pull the Pimm’s out of storage.

We’ve noticed two items in great supply at the farmer’s market: cucumbers and apples. Cucumbers are often used as a garnish for a summery Pimm’s Cup, so it seemed logical that a cucumber juice could make a charming base for an autumn Pimm’s, particularly when just touched with a bit of apple. Before you grumble to yourself, “But I have no fancy juicer with which to make juice”, let us assure you that a simple blender will do the trick. Reminiscent of a fall day at the beach, the Salted Cucumber Pimm’s is best enjoyed while wearing a cardigan and a pair of shorts — a happy medium until that cold snap finally arrives.

Salted Cucumber Pimm’s

The concept for this libation is actually based on a classic Gimlet, which, in its simplest form, is nothing more than lime juice and gin or vodka. Our salted cucumber juice is slightly more complex in flavor, providing layers of contrasting flavors highlighting this in-between season. Because Pimm’s is a gin-based liqueur, we like to mix our version with a bright herbaceous gin like Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin, but it also tastes marvelous with vodka, especially Core Vodka, which is distilled from apples.

2 ounces salted cucumber juice (recipe below)

1 ounce gin or vodka

1 ounce Pimm’s

slice of pickled apple for garnish (we’ll tell you how to make that also – it’s easy)

Put cucumber juice and gin or vodka into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Put Pimm’s in the bottom of a martini glass and strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass. Garnish with pickled apple and serve immediately.

Salted Cucumber Juice

2 small to medium cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped

1 apple, peeled and roughly chopped

Juice of one fresh lime

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons light agave nectar

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until liquified. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Can be refrigerated for up to three days, but tastes best when fresh.

Pickled Apple Garnish

1 apple, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

Whisk together vinegar and sugar in a bowl, add apple slices, and set aside for an hour. At this point, you can use the slices as garnish, and also put the liquid and apple slices into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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