So I shelved my dream of a pretty green cocktail until sometime after this post, when I picked up the book again and realized, wait. I juiced a blackberry...why the heck can't I juice a cucumber? (Plus, I had just made the post about St. Germain and was pretty pumped about making cocktails with it.) Turns out the cucumber was a bit more work, but I persevered. Here's what you have to do - cut the cucumber into little bits. (And I mean little, like 1/4" cubes.) You don't need to juice the whole cucumber if you just plan on making a few drinks...about 1/3 will do. Throw them into the blender with a little bit of water (I added 1/2 oz), and start on a low setting, working your way up to higher settings until the cucumber is liquefied. Then strain the cucumber through a sieve, as described here.
Then gather together:
2 oz. Williams Pear eau-de-vie*
3/4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1/2 oz lemon juice (fresh squeezed please)
1/2 oz hard-fought cucumber juice (from a cucumber grown by some nice local farmers)
1/4 oz simple syrup
The original recipe calls for a dash of orange bitters, but I like it better without. If you have some, feel free to try it both ways and judge for yourself.
*Pear eau-de-vie is a brandy that's made from distilled pears. (As opposed to traditional brandy, which is made from grapes.) This stuff is expensive, but surprisingly versatile. It shows up here, came in handy in the St.Germain sangria, and is an essential ingredient in the pear/bourbon old-fashioned that is one of my favorite drinks. (And very likely a future post.)
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake until the shaker is nice and frosty. Strain into a pretty glass.
Credit for this recipe goes to Vincenzo Marianella (at the Copa D'Oro in Los Angeles. (Actually, Santa Monica, which, as Rachel knows, is where Frank Gehry is from)). To whom I say: you, sir, are a cocktailing genius. Also, I may have to plan a trip to LA just to visit this bar.
Verdict: Very pear-y. (It's a teeny bit of a disappointment after all that work I went to, but I don't taste the cucumber at all.) Beautifully light and sweet - looks and tastes not quite like any other cocktail I've ever had.