I spent half of Saturday and all day Sunday last weekend grinding spices because we were hosting an Indian feast! I’ve been all about Indian food lately and love being able to make healthier versions of our favorite dishes at home. It’s also the perfect cuisine to enjoy when you have vegetarian guests because there are so many yummy veggie options! I was particularly excited for this dinner party because our friend Willy is also a huge foodie and likes to experiment in the kitchen as much as I do. In fact, we decided to pick an ingredient and each make a secret dish with it, how fun is that? We settled on cucumbers and Willy made amazingly refreshing cucumber ice cream! I wanted to lick the bowl, it was that good. I decided to make a cucumber simple syrup after being inspired by a cucumber martini I recently had at Orleans, a bar in our neighborhood.
To make the syrup, all I did was let shredded cucumbers soak in the syrup until it cooled and then strained them out. I combined the syrup with gin, sparkling cranberry juice from Trader Joe’s, and a splash of lime juice. They were really fresh and delicious and I’m excited to play with the leftover cucumber simple syrup more too!
Cucumber Cranberry Cocktails
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup shredded English cucumber, plus 6 slices for garnishes
1 cup gin
1 cup sparkling cranberry juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat for 2 minutes or until liquid is boiling and sugar has dissolved. Stir in shredded cucumber and remove from heat. Allow simple syrup to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, and strain cucumber out.
Combine 1 cup cucumber simple syrup with gin, sparkling cranberry juice, and lime juice and stir until well combined. Serve over ice and garnish with extra cucumber slices. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition: 176 calories, 0g fat, 0.1g fiber, 0.1g protein per serving (calculated using 1 cup of simple syrup, I had a bit leftover!)
Cost: $0.63 per serving