Las Vegas. I’ve never visited, but the word conjures up desert weather, hedonism, and lots of alcohol. I won’t be going anytime soon given our impending move across the country, but was invited to participate virtually in the Vegas Uncork’d #MixItUp2014 digital cocktail event. The “Mix Master” event held at the Aria Resort and Casino inspires the online community to participate by sharing creative summer drink recipes, alcoholic or not.
So many drink recipes! What to choose! I thought, as summer temperatures started to warm the breezes, stifle the air in the house, and bring in sweaty kids from outside. Basically, I always feel summer turns the general house odor to boy stink. And boys don’t always like cooked vegetables, unless they are heavy-laden with butter, with an appropriate texture (everything is “too chewy”, “too mushy”, and everything else on the spectrum), or just distractingly too green. And raw vegetables: the kids are unabashedly fickle. Carrots are a go for a week. I stock up on 3 pounds of carrots, then they become a vile, nose-wrinkling inducing item on the table. Besides baked kale chips, I have a hard time convincing Peach and Grub to try new vegetables eagerly (though, they sometimes relent, because deep down they know I am right, that they can taste good — and dessert is promised. Sometimes. And Sky-Girl, she’s still oblivious enough to not know what I sneak in her food usually. Beets — yay!).
This little concoction is a bit of a trick. There is vegetable, though without the fiber. And there is sweet. It’s like a vegetable for a cool dessert in the summer, to quench the thirst of those sweaty boys and girls. This is also a great adult drink if you don’t want to be traditional: you can add a splash of vodka or rum for less of a thirst quencher and more of a brain fuzzer. This agua frescas is my version of the island breeze. Enjoy a little cool this summer, wherever you may be, Vegas or otherwise. #MixItUp2014
One year ago: life is just a bowl of cherries
Two years ago: chawanmushi
Three years ago: pumpkin-cranberry-almond cookies
- about 2½ pounds of cucumbers (1130g), peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 to 6 cups water, depending on how light you want make it -- I used 4 cups (Add this after straining)
- 3 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- Heat ¼ cup water and ¼ cup sugar to make a simple syrup. Cool to room temperature or chill.
- Meanwhile, in batches so your food processor or blender does not overflow, puree cucumbers, and ginger.
- Pour puree into cheesecloth-lined sieve over a large bowl, squeezing cheesecloth to obtain as much juice as possible.*
- At this step, you can add the 4-6 cups of water, chill the entire mixture or proceed without chilling (and just use more ice in each glass instead). Add the simple syrup and lime juice to cucumber water, mixing well.
- Add ice to each glass, fill with cucumber agua frescas, garnishing with cucumber slices if desired. If waiting to serve, make sure the agua frescas is mixed well before pouring into glasses.
- Makes 1500 ml to 2000 ml (6 to 8 cups), depending on how much water you add.