I began this summer by expressing, in no uncertain terms, just how terrible New York City summers really are — sticky airlessness occasionally broken up by eerily refreshing droplets of cool water on your head that turn out to be filthy window a/c run-off, and you know, given that NYC lets people with absolutely no relevant skills install their own window a/c units, you might not want to walk underneath them at all, is all I’m saying. Right, I’ve digressed again. I think I hoped that if I aired my grievances about summer early and unflinchingly, I could get through the season without my least favorite of my writing tics, whining about the weather.
And I did, just not because of that. Despite dire warnings from the Farmer’s Almanac that we were going to have one of the more “humid and thundery” summers on record, to my delight, we experienced the opposite. Before Labor Day, there wasn’t a single day where temperatures crept above 91 degrees. In 2013, a year when I broke my don’t-complain-about-the-weather rule basically every time I opened my mouth, there were 16. [I promise, I’m getting somewhere with this.] Of course, NYC still has to have the last word and in the first week of September was back to its muggy air/scorched sidewalk ways. And it was in that week that when getting my weekly fix at this new dumpling place my neighborhood was graced with over the summer, I picked up some of their housemade cucumber lemonade and have not been able to talk about anything else since.
I am obsessed. It’s not that I didn’t know you could put cucumber in a drink (he-llo!), it’s just that I didn’t think it would be so insanely good, especially against the brightening powers of lemonade. This might even rival that frozen coconut limeade in the cool and refreshing department. I don’t care if it’s suddenly cool enough that I had to close the windows a couple nights ago and maybe that means to some that it’s not lemonade weather anymore. It is still summer, which means that this is remains a Pumpkin-Spice Free Zone for five more days — don’t miss a chance to make this.
Events: I’ve got a few events coming up. If you’re around, come say hi. I promise not to talk about the weather.
- This Sunday, 9/21 In Toronto, I’ll be demo-ing three recipes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook at the Word on the Street Festival. I’ll be in an Onstage Conversation with CBC host Gill Deacon at 3:30 p.m., but the event goes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free. It’s in Queens Park Circle; much more information on their website.
- Saturday, 10/18 I will be participating in the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival on a panel about blogging and social media with Faith Durand (The Kitchn) and Joy Wilson (Joy the Baker) at 5:15 p.m. in The Grand Tasting Room. This is a ticketed event. More details over here.
- Wednesday, 10/22 At 7 p.m., Melissa Clark (New York Times) and I will be talking to Leonard Lopate (WNYC) about how to write a cookbook as part of his Locavores series. It will be at The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, and it’s a ticketed event. More details over here.
One year ago: Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Two years ago: Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
Three years ago: Apple and Honey Challah
Four years ago: Monkey Cake
Five years ago: Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies
Six years ago: Eggs in Tomato Sauce, Spinach Quiche and Bread Without a Timetable
Seven years ago: Grandmothers of Sils’ Apple Yogurt Cake and Chocolate Babka
EIGHT years ago: (New! And a month overdue.) 44 Clove Garlic Soup, Silky Cauliflower Soup, Key Lime Tart, Romaine Pesto and Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes and Summer Squash Soup
Inspired by Mimi Cheng’s
A few notes: I made this the first time with the cucumber skin on. As only surprised me, this makes for a very green juice, as in your guest will ask “You made me green juice?” Of course, no harm in that. The second time, which yielded the finished lemonade you see here, I peeled the cucumbers, which led to pale pastel green tinge to the lemonade. You can use any variety of cucumber; in the first batch, I used one of those large English cucumbers. In the second, I used 4 kirby cucumbers from a Greenmarket (each weighed 4 ounces). Flavor and concentration-wise I prefer a tart lemonade that’s a little bit on the concentrated side because we almost always finish ours off with a small glug of seltzer. For a sweeter, but not excessively sweet lemonade, use 1/2 cup sugar. If you’re not going to finish yours with sparkling or mineral water, use it for a cocktail or pour it over a glass of ice, you might find that you’d prefer this with 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra cold water. Finally, I find making simple syrup a pain (it’s a whole extra step!) and upon reading this over the summer, was reminded that you can totally skip this step and just add the sugar directly. Shaken a few times, within 15 minutes it will be fully dissolved, far more quickly than it would take to cool simple syrup. My lemonade feels so free!
Makes just over 1 quart (4 cups). Serves 4 to 6 and up to 8 if you like a lot of fizzy water in yours.
1 pound cucumber(s), peeled or unpeeled, cut into large chunks, plus a few extra thin cucumber slices for garnish
1 cup lemon juice (from about 7 to 8 lemons, although juiciness will vary)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
Run cucumber through a blender or food processor until pureed, then run it for a full extra minute to ensure that it’s as processed as possible. Set a fine-mesh strainer or a regular strainer lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter over a pitcher and pour cucumber puree through it, stirring to help it move along faster. Discard solids. In the pitcher, you should have about 1 cup cucumber juice.* Add lemon juice and sugar to it, then water. Give it a good stir or shake, and let it sit in the fridge (to get it started chilling) for 15 minutes, after which a couple more stirs or shakes should leave the sugar fully dissolved. Taste lemonade, adding more sugar or water if desired. (See Notes up top about concentration and sweetness.) Serve chilled over ice, with or without a splash of seltzer on top. You can fancy up the glass with a garnish of cucumber slice, if desired.
Can we put gin in this? Of course you can.
* Of course, if you have a juicer, you can use it here to the same effect.
150 comments on cucumber lemonade
Sounds delicious! Going to try this out… Maybe with a little Hendricks mixed in too! ;)
What I didn’t know till this summer was that cucumber slices left to infuse in water overnight makes for a very refreshing flavoured water :) Might give this a go if the good weather holds for one more day – I can’t remember the last time we had such warm weather at the end of September, and am determined to hang on the summer myth for as long as possible :)
oh this recipe is coming at the perfect time as i am obsessed with cucumbers right now. or my growing baby is. the good news is that cucumbers are somehow helping me eat less sugar. either way, my mango-sized baby and i thank you for sharing:)
That looks so good! I really wish you’d published this one while I still had cucumbers on the vine. Sadly, they are all finished now. However, I may have to pick some up at the store just to give this a try.
deb – thanks for another glorious summery cocktail idea. may i make a request that you post the ratios for that rum/coconut/pineapple concoction you mentioned in your pina colada cake post? looking forward to your demo at word on the street on sunday – will you be signing books?
Mmmmm, I love cucumber drinks. I make something similar with freshly squeezed lime juice. So refreshing!
This sounds great! Is the yield a quart? Serves 4?
Karen — Yes, just slightly over. I’d say it serves 6, but we also pour it in small glasses (the ones shown are 8 ounces) with ice or seltzer. I’ll add that now.
Abby — Thank you. I’ve lived here for FIVE weeks and yesterday was the first time I remembered I could take photos outside! I cannot tell you how excited I am to have a new space and light to take pictures in. I know I was attached to that terrible speckled countertop too, but I was also very tired of it after easily 6,000 published photos taken on it.
Deb, I’m loving the pictures in your new space! Also, we are lucky here in the Midwest to have a mild summer, cross your fingers it isn’t a hard winter too!
your last two sentences are perfect. MORE GIN!
Hi Deb- Just wondering if you’ll be doing a signing at Word on the Street on Sunday or just the demo? I’ll be there regardless, can’t wait! Hope you enjoy Toronto!
I make cucumber limeade !
Delicious, refreshing, and a fun cocktail when you add a splash of vodka!
It’s supposed to be nearly summer temps this weekend, which makes me happy, though I need no excuse to make lemonade. And especially with cucumber, yum.
I’m intrigued on the no-cook simple syrup. I like to use it for lemonade because I add the zest of the lemons to the hot syrup so it ends up tasting extra lemon-y without being extra sour. But the article you linked to says this still works cold (maybe if I mush the sugar and zest a bit before adding water). Either way, worth a shot!
This looks delicious – nice and refreshing in warm weather. Since we’re experiencing a downright hot autumn, I will definitely be trying this!
Mmmm, num! Now it’s just a matter of deciding between rum, vodka, gin, or whiskey. Heck, tequila would work well too.
I am loving naturally flavoured lemonade!! This looks great! Doesn’t matter that its getting colder – I am going to make it! :)
I have never thought about combining cucumbers and lemonade, but now that seems like a totally intuitive combination. Also, I appreciate your old-school approach of pureing the juice, and then running it through a sieve, instead of buying a juicer. I think I will have to try this tonight!
Sounds delicious. I’ll have to tuck this one away for my “It’s Summer Somewhere” party in January…
This looks like another winner! Cucumber is an ingredient I’ve rarely used in drink recipes myself, but now it looks like I might just have to! And maybe it’s a good way to bring summer back any season, since citrus and cucumber are readily available (and taste the same to me every season, unlike, say, tomatoes or strawberries.)
This sounds so delicious. The prefect drink to sip while ignoring the leaves that are changing colors and getting ready for autumn.
This looks like another winner! Cucumber is an ingredient I rarely use in drink recipes, but I may just have to try it. And, this drinks looks like a good way to bring summer back any season, since citrus and cucumbers are readily available, and taste the same to me, year-round (unlike, say, strawberries or tomatoes.)
I see the suggestion for having this with Hendrick’s–sounds great. What about with beer, for a riff on the shandy?
This looks amazing! For some reason I love anything that tastes or smells of cucumber, so this looks like something I’d love!
This with Pimms would be amazing! Sadly I too just finished off my final round of desperate pickling to get rid of my cukes. I will have to find more. Also, do you think putting the cucumbers in a juicer would give you the same quality juice for the first step?
After the insane prices of lemons and limes in Vancouver this summer (California drought?) I resorted to buying huge bags of lemons from Whole Foods because it was far cheaper than individually at my local veggie shop. That meant I had lemons to use up faster than they would keep (it was HOT in Vancouver this summer).
I resorted to epic amounts of mint lemonade which was delicious (of course with gin!) If I make one more batch this summer it may have to be cucumber though!
Oh wow wow wow! This sounds SO awesome. I’m going to try it! Thank you for sharing!
Great idea! Making this tonight!! Sometimes I think, is SK still the best food blog out there? and then you go and write “Can we put gin in this? Of course you can.” And yes, of course it is.
This looks amazingly refreshing! I love cucumber in cocktails, and can’t wait to try this while lounging around in Palm Springs!
Yay! Was needing more ideas for the bucket load of cucumbers from our garden. There’s no more room in the fridge for the many jars of pickled cucumber. :) Thanks, Deb!
You had me at ‘gin’. :-)
This looks delicious and so refreshing. And the gin is certainly a must in my book!
Where was this all summer–one of the hottest summers on record for Seattle? Nevermind, temps are supposed to be back in the 80s this weekend~I’ll have to make it to take to the beach with us on Sunday!
Thank you Deb… I am allergic to wine (very, very sad ) and can’t have alcohol because of other medical issues . So I am always looking for substitutes.
I love restaurants that will make me alternative cocktails, in “big girl” glasses so that I at least look like everyone else. Once this summer , I was given a”Virgin” cucumber gimlet. It was so good I nearly fell off my chair.. It was probably something like this, and I am going into the kitchen to make it NOW.!
The summer is certainly not over.. I don’t buy apples when there are still peaches, and no winter squash, while there is still zucchini . Happy still summer!
I think the cucumber skin is a tad bitter anyways so I would like it skinless too !
Our cucumbers have dwindled in the past week, but I still have a stockpile in the veggie drawer of the fridge. Wishing for a lemon tree, but that’s not happening in Ohio… Going to make this refreshing lemonade after a trip to the store!
It sounds great. I think I’ll try adding some mint leaves and that will make it even better
If someone hasn’t already suggested this, I would be shocked. HOWEVER! One of my favourite cocktails from this pizza/pasta place near my apartment is called the Cucumber Lemonade, and they add Hendricks Gin to it. You should do this. Always (okay, almost always).
What kind of juicer do you use, it looks so efficient???!!!!! I juice by hand and it just isn’t cutting it any longer, there is too much juice left in the lemons!
I am off to the store to buy cucumbers, it is hot as the dickens on the central coast of Cali the last couple weeks and I cannot WAIT to try this!! It looks so YUMMMMMMY!!!
<3 Thank you for sharing!!
I was pleasantly surprised at what a mild summer we had in the Midwest as well – no days over 100! Even so, this lemonade looks deliciously refreshing…and I’m in full agreement with you: technically, it’s not fall yet!!
Looks so nice and refreshing!! Abi :)
I just made this with the abundance of cukes we have from our summer CSA. I was getting soooo tired of pickle making and just happened to have 5 lemons and 2 limes in the house. (So, I used both.) It is DELICIOUS! After kids are in bed tonight, adding mint & gin.Thanks, Deb!
This sounds so refreshing! And even better with Gin :)
Mmmmm… use this as the lemonade for Porch Swings? Sounds delicious.
Very happy to see wonderful drinks without alcohol. This one is so pretty too! Can’t wait to try it. Thank you!
Makes me think of a kind of morphed Porch Swing, which I had for the first time this summer just the other day. I have all the ingredients, might have to try it….
How refreshing!! This definitely looks like it could make those NYC summers just a little bit better :)
That COLOR!!!!!!! EEgads, that looks so tasty. All out of both ingredients at present, but that will change tomorrow…and I will be toasting you over the weekend with a big “thanks for sharing” Deb.I love the new photo- ops that your new space is providing also. What a great time of year to have the outdoors so handy!
Mild summer? Huh. Try 100+ for days on end in the midst of a drought. Anyway, the lemonade looks quite refreshing. I saw that trick on Food52, too, and thought: genius.
I would eat the Mighty Veggie dumplings every single day if that joint were nearby.
Deb, are you enjoying your Vitamix? I’ve been contemplating one for a while but keep waiting for my blender to die.
From my childhood!
That sounds so refreshing! It looks like this weekend will be BEAUTIFUL and warm in NJ (and in the city), so I am going to make this. I’ll use my juicer for the cucumber though. I paid good money for that juicer, might as well let it do the work for me, right??
Word on the Street? We have one of those in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan – not that that helps, I’m guessing). Oh, how lovely it would be if you could stop by here one day!
I love cucumber drinks! I usually have it with shredded cucumber and munch through the drink. Your lemonade sounds even more refreshing, I’m trying this soon!
Recently my taste buds changed–I went from LOVING avocados to being repulsed by the sight of them, from hating cucumbers to LOVING them. Why? I have no earthly idea.
That said, this looks pretty good. It would be really awesome with some vodka or tequila but, alas, I am off liquor for 18 months…doctors orders. But I’ll file this away for two summers from now. Heh.
What the…holy love of insanely good stuff! I really enjoyed this post. I heard your voice, girl…and you are fun! I love your recipes and your pictures too.
Yummy Looks SO good :)
Lemon juice just tastes sour, you need the rind to give a lemon flavour. Borage has a lovely cucumber flavour, you need to cut the leaves finely as they are a bit hairy. The blue flowers make a beautiful garnish.
This sounds heavenly – and what a fun surprise for those who receive this special
treat. I was going to ask if I could use a juicer, but that was answered in your final sentence. NOW – my real question – I’m a white ware NUT – can you tell me
where you bought the glorious white pedestal bowl holding the lemons in photo
#9 accompanying this recipe? Thank you so much!
Loving this! I can’t think of two more refreshing things than lemonade and cukes. I may have to desert my beloved Arnold Palmers for a while…
Deb – so excited you are in toronto – will you be doing any book signing for the event?
Becky — Yay, thank you. There will be time after the demo to sign books.
Kathy — I bought that a bunch of years ago when Martha Stewart did a line for Macy’s. They don’t seem to have that specific bowl anymore, but they have other inexpensive whiteware that’s similar.
SaraQ — I am, I really really am. I still firmly believe that it’s kind of insanely expensive for what it is and would never go so far as to recommend it, mostly due to my own discomfort telling people how to spend their hard-earned money, but I would say if you have the budget for it and use a blender a lot, it’s pretty ideal as far as blenders go. Also, I mentioned this in an earlier comment on another post, what really sold me on it was the 7 year warranty. My last blender cost a little under $100 and broke after 1.5 years, when it had a 1 year warranty. I really didn’t feel like buying more of the same, just destined for a landfill.
Molly — I do my best to. :)
I made this last night and it is delicious! I added a little bit of cilantro too. I mixed it with tequila and a splash of tonic. I thought about muddling a jalapeno too and I may try that tonight!
Lucky me, a house guest gave me your cookbook, and I am enjoying it immensely.
Oh this sounds, like a very, very good idea. Cucumber in lemonade would be oh-so refreshing!
This sounds deliciously refreshing. I think I will have to make it this weekend, it is going to be another hot weekend in LA!
Sounds really refreshing!
Texas summers last until at least early October, so I will definitely be making this! Now the cute little yellow cucumbers from my CSA have a destiny!
Oh yummy! the perfect way to finish off the summer. Also, I don’t mind your whining about the weather. I live in Michigan so it’s literally all we talk about.
I love this! And that last question re: gin, genius! Or Pimms….
I’m thinking, when it gets too cool for lemonade, it’s a good excuse to turn the heat on and add the gin. Just saying…
Lovely. Hard not to mention the weather. For instance, last week it actually felt like summer but today it feels like Fall. That is reason enough to make a drink that definitely looks like summer, tastes like summer but can be easily enjoyed in Fall. You should come to Seattle next time you feel like talking weather (we have a lot to say about it here).
This has me thinking…cucumber lemoncello??
Simple syrup made easy! Put equal amounts sugar and cold water in a jar, screw on the lid and shake, shake, shake. Keep shaking until it’s clear. I found this idea online when I needed simple syrup fast. Try it! You’ll never boil it again. :-)
I’ve been doing this for years, as a side effect of my tzatziki habit. I grate the cucumbers on a box grater, squeeze the juice out and make ice cubes with it for lemonade or other drinks, and then stir the cucumber bits into greek yogurt with some chopped dill, mint, and garlic.
Hmh. I may be the only person in the world who hates to drink cucumber. However – another comment has me contemplating the MINT lemonade I’ll make… And I’m so excited to be (FINALLY) getting your book delivered today!!
Thank you for the gin footnote. That was the FIRST thing I thought of :)
1/3 cup sugar seems VERY low … exactly how tart DO you like your lemonade?
Michelle — I definitely have very little tolerance for sweet drinks, I’ll admit. But I warned, just in case. FWIW, 1/3 cup sugar is equivalent to 1/2 cup simple syrup. When I’m making lemonade for other people with more normal sweet tooths, I’d go closer to 3/4 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup water).
Those have suggested using this in the Porch Swing (riff on a Pimm’s Cup) recipe — BRILLIANT.
I discovered lemon cucumbers (never heard of them before) at the farmers market today! Totally trying this out with them this weekend.
Incidentally, Deb, cucumber limeade is also excellent, and in such an application the extra green color from the peel is a plus. Also: cucumber margaritas. Just as refreshing, but with extra benefits ;)
YUM! Sounds absolutely delicious. Have you tried mint lemonade? It’s a classic tradition/drink in Syria, where I’m from, and goodness it’s so refreshing and incredibly delicious. Just google “Syrian Mint Lemonade”!
Can’t seem to pn your recipes. It would be great if you’d add a pin it button.
Very refreshing. I like both the lemonade and limeade ideas. Plus adding a little something to make it adult drink seems like would be easy peasy. Very nice.
I know a few people have mentioned mint and one even suggested adding mint to the lemonade, but I have to throw in my two cents. I’ve played around a bit with cucumber lemonade before, and adding mint makes it perfect. Best way to do it is to sweeten the lemonade with a mint simple syrup instead of using straight sugar (add mint to the sugar and water and bring to a boil, then let it steep as the syrup cools). It makes the perfect drink!
Well, I can’t believe it. Just two nights nights ago I was on your website looking for just such a cucumber drink that would make use of the cucumbers coming around in the garden. I know there are other web sites with recipes, but I find your recipes very reliable. (Before I found your site, I only used CI) And fancy, a neighbor just gave me a box of limes.
Perhaps it is cooling off in NYC, but it is hot year-round in my neck of the woods, so this post is perfectly timed. Thank you kindly!
Our lemon tree is just now becoming ripe (California was super weird this year!), so I’m pinning this to make with our growing lemon collection!
After reading this recipe, I went home and promptly made frozen cucumber lemonades spiked with gin. I made the cucumber-lemonade syrup more concentrated and a little sweeter, and it was so, so perfect for a warm and humid day here in the Southwest. Plus I got to practice blending drinks in my new Vitamix. (The more I use it, the more it justifies the cost, right?)
I am going to ginger this up! A tiny knob should be a spicy delicious addition.
Just put it in the fridge, can’t wait to taste it!
Just made it to take to a friend’s house tonight. It is delish! Looking forward to the addition of gin in a few hours. It is still very much lemonade weather in AZ.
Great combo. Sounds refreshing and lovely. And I hate those drops of AC water on my head too, so scuzzy!
This is awesome! I just made this, because it looks like one of the last warm-ish days over here, and I love it.
I didn’t peel the cucumbers. I LOVE the color! *g*
I have never thought about combining cucumbers and lemonade! I love them both! It’s always fun to try different recipes out, especially for people who like to entertain often. Thanks! And I’ll definitely give this a try!
To that Hendricks I’d add some St. Germaine and maybe switch out the lemon for lime juice
Or you could just wash a couple of cucumbers and slice them thin, do the same with a couple lemons, grab some fresh basil leaves and some mint and pop them in a gallon container of water. Try to use one with a spigot on the bottom – easier to dispense. Let it sit in the fridge over night and the next day you have an incredibly lovely and refreshing drink. No sweetener needed. Not a sweet drink. I kept adding water for several days before tossing out the veggies and replenishing them.
Hey, Deb. Totally off topic… I made your adaptation of Thomas Keller’ s mushroom quiche today. Following your notes, the crust went off without a hitch. I even par baked it. My problem was, despite draining the cooked mushrooms, my quiche had a leaking issue. It was beautiful and delicious but the bottom was really water logged. I wondered if you would have any ideas. I know your busy so I won’t take it personally if you can’t respond. You’ve taught me to cook, so thank you.
Haha, i totally NEVER thought of pairing cucumber with something so zesty and different from it in the same drink! Sounds so delicious and refreshing though…something I need now that my baby girl is walking like crazy. So proud of her, and…help! ;)
Soooo glad to hear that someone else has declared a pumpkin spice free zone while it is still summer! Seattle had a lovely summer this year and I am loath to relinquish it to fall flavors. This cucumber lemonade sounds just the thing! Thanks!
Deb – Of all the many authors at The Word on the Street in Toronto you were mentioned in this article September 22. Way to go!
This is my first posting here … but I have been a passive reader for years ;-) Just love your blog!
I have been obsessed with these kind of flavors for the last 2 years. Cucumber and lemon just gets you addicted.
@ Deb: Have you tried limes instead of lemons? I’ve got to tell you: It’s worth a try ;-))
I’m in New Delhi, India, where summer is basically allourlives and therefore there’s never a time that’s wrong for cucumber lemonade, so thank you!
On an unrelated note, I love to click on the various links in your posts because they go off on such fascinating linked tangents (yes I know that’s not really a think). However, personally I would much rather they opened in a new tab than took me away from your site, which is what currently seems to happen. Any chance you could change your link settings to open hyperlinks in a new tab?
wow. definitely one to try, can’t wait!
Something so simple yet hydrating and tasty. yes please.
I really enjoy the idea of adding cucumber to lemonade. It’s refreshing, hydrating and makes an excellent pair with lemonade. This reminds me of my favorite snack of sliced cucumbers with a squeeze of lemon and salt.
Oh how wonderful indeed! Definitely adding a good glug of gin- yummo!
I’ve been drinking cucumber water for a while now. This looks like a refreshing twist and I’m looking forward to trying the lemonade with cucumber.
I thought I spotted a Vitamix in the photos! I have the Blendtec and love it too. Don’t think you can go wrong with either one!
I usually absolutely devour your recipes, but this one was a miss for our family. 5 out of 5 of us dumped it down the drain. Cucumber lemonade just wasn’t what we were hoping it would be.
that’s looks delicious. was it easy to make? and can you do with any vegetable?
This. Looks. AMAZING. I normally don’t like lemons or cucumbers, but I’m sure I will LOOOOOOOOVE this!!! Can’t wait to give it a try at my October mocktail party!
Wow wow! That sounds really cool. I’m going to give it a try! Thank you for your share! Louis Vuitton shoes
Hmm,,…Its really suitable for me after concumsed too many meat in Ied Mubarok. Thanks for the juice recipe. :)
Use less citrus, swap lemons with limes and sugar with (less) agave nectar and you have cucumber agua fresca, a drink which we became addicted to this summer after having it in San Antonio at La Panaderia. By the way, if you ever find yourself in San Antonio, you have a moral obligation to visit La Panaderia. http://www.lapanaderia.com
Mine had a odd aftertaste, almost like a burnt? Taste… Really mild but noticeable if taken straight (not mixed with liquor, seltzer etc) maybe because I didn’t peel the cucumbers (I wanted that dark green color.) Still tasty but next time I will try without the skin. Also as I was stirring and straining the puree I had a thought; why don’t I just pop the puree into my freshly washed coffee press?? Instantly strained! Lol, I thought I was a genius
I was on lemonade duty for years, which entailed about 6 half gallons a week. My trick for sugar is to heat one cup of water to lukewarm (one minute in the microwave) add 1/2 cup sugar, which will dissolve well. By the time I’d finished juicing the lemons, the water had cooled to room temp, and I could add cold water and ice to have it ready to drink. its not either boil water or dont warm it at all, you can pick an amount in between. The science is that the warmer the water, the more sugar will dissolve in it, and yet cooling the solution will not cause the sugar to crystallize, which creates a supersaturated solution. Conversely, the colder the water, the more water you need to dissolve the sugar. If going that route, why not add the sugar in the vitamix?
Hi RG — How did you get lemonade duty at such a quantity? I’m fascinated. Your technique is clearly sound. I was mostly trying to avoid heating anything or having to account (or subtract) for extra water for simple syrup — basically, this for me was the laziest way. I hadn’t even thought about blending it in the blender, though would it be fully dissolved when it came out? I’ll have to see. Mostly, since I had my ‘duh’ moment, that sugar would dissolve on it’s own in 15 to 20 minutes, it just seemed easier to let it.
Thank you for this, Deb! I’m pregnant and have been on a mad hunt for not-too-sweet, booze-free beverages, and this fits the bill perfectly. I’m thinking of experimenting with raspberries, watermelon, and strawberries (or a mix?) in place of the cucumber, too. This will surely be my go-to drink for the next 6 months and beyond, perhaps with a splash of gin or bubbly!
I made a double batch (quart w/o the water) as a concentrate and popped it into our cooler for a week of camping along with a bottle of Pimm’s. Afternoon cocktails were heavenly – mixed with seltzer, ice and Pimm’s – deeeelish. Great refreshing lemonade (didn’t take much to flavor an entire bottle of water). Thank You!
I love to make my own beverage but I never heard about this recipe. This looks so interesting, I sure will make it myself. Thank you for your recipe.
We made this a couple weeks ago, and even my littlest girls loved it! Last week we made it again, but froze the cucumber slices ahead of time, and replaced half the water with ice. OH MAN…it was soooo good! Thanks for getting us thinking about this combo!
Hey Deb-Thanks for the recipe. I made it as a surprise for my husband. I kept the skin on the cucumbers, and to my surprise, the pulp remaining tasted awesome(like cucumbers which makes sense) so I used it as baby food! I was so happy about the dual use. The drink is refreshing and pure. I think of it as polyjuice potion in all the best ways. Thanks again!
I am looking forward to trying this recipe. i made a version of this today-and it was amazing!I made my regular lemonade (lemon juice, simple syrup, water) and I put it in a large glass dispenser, and placed several sliced cucumbers in the lemonade. They infused so much cucumber flavor into the lemonade, it was so delicious and refreshing, and you are so right-the cucumber flavor and lemon are
a beautiful combo.
Adding a few fresh basil leaves to this really enhances the freshness. It’s not bad with a little vodka, either.
One of my favorite. It help me a lot of flushed totally my 3 kidney stones, so i never tired buying this one. Also, id like to use one cucumber and slice them all and put in water and drink :D
Has anyone tried this entire recipe with a juicer? Putting both the cucumbers and lemons through a regular masticating juicer? Is the lemon rind going to make it too bitter? Looking for a faster way of making this delicious drink!
Going to try this with the small mountain of zucchini laying before me
just made this and have it in my fridge for my Tennessee football game in a few hours. Warmed my lemons in micowave to get more juice and added the sugar to the semi warm juice. Skinned the cukes and still have a beautiful spring green mix and I am not diluting it with anything except my Hendricks and maybe a splash of Gerolsteiner’s for a sparkling fizz. Thanks for the recipe!
Hey.. it is so good you know this. .now.. cucumber, watermelon, lemon! mmm delish..
Hey Deb – sounds divine! can i make this in night before without compromising cucumber flavor (adding fizz last minute)?
Made this tonight and the cucumber water tastes very bitter- I peeled the cucumbers but they overpowered the lemon. I may add more lemon (or sugar?) next time. Otherwise, delicious.
Dangerously delicious. I made this and added Gin…perhaps too much Gin, but I couldn’t tell because it just tasted so good. A great, refreshing, summer drink.
If I wanted to use simple syrup because I already have it on hand, how much would I use?
And, is there a way to search the comments?
Thanks for all of your hard work to bring us this site/resource!
You’d want to skip the sugar, use 1/3 cup less water and then add (about) 1/2 cup simple syrup.
Possibly stupid question: if I want to add gin, how much do I add per cup or quart? Thamks Deb, I haven’t flopped a recipe of hours yet😀
Don’t have an exact measurement but a shot per glass of lemonade is never a bad place to start. You might could find you need a little more sugar because we often expect cocktails to be sweeter.
Got to try this ! Yummy drink.
i am new to this vegan thing and sounds soooo good i think i am gonna try it i have tried the watermelon lemonade and it is awesome!!
I made a weak mint tea with an added tsp. of dry basil to use as my water. (Fresh mint & basil would be better, but i don’t have any, lol!) It’s chilling in the fridge now and I’ll make my lemonade with it tomorrow. It will be a Basil-Mint Cucumber Lemonade 😉
It’s hot in Ireland today, properly hot! I made this, and instead of seltzer or gin we’re drinking it over ice with with prosecco. Oh baby, sooooo delicious.
1.5 to 2 oz gin
1/2 to 3/4 oz St Germain
3.5 to 4 oz cucumber lemonade
Build in glass, top with splash soda. Add ice. Amazing!
This is an old recipe so I don’t know if you’ll see this comment, but those measuring cups are gorgeous! Any memory of where you bought them?
Looks so refreshing! I love lemonade and I usually make my own with honey and chia seeds 😋
Mmmm… this sounds so teresting and divine… thinking about turning it into popsicles…🤗 How much gin would you add to this batch as a whole?
Drinks are often just a shot or shot and a half per drink; I’d scale it from there.
Also…I’m in Mexico and have a terrible time finding lemons. Though I refuse to give up as I love them so! Thoughts on found a limeade instead? As that is what I have at my fingertips…loads and loads of limes! Key and Persian 😉
Limeade would be delicious! You might want more sugar.
I had to share the results of my tinkering/taste test. I made this because I had both lemons and CSA cucumbers to use up, only to discover we were out of gin. So I set up a little taste test with what we did have and found that tequila and pisco both play very nicely with this. The pisco brought out the sweetness and cucumber flavor, while the tequila made the citrus sing. Both very nice variations, although I’m not sure it’s an approved use of pisco for the purists!
Saw this recipe this morning and knew it would be a perfect use for the plethora of cucumbers from my garden. When I stopped in Trader Joe’s this afternoon with lemons on my shopping list, I came across fresh squeezed unpasteurized lemonade. That just saved me a step! Not that I don’t juice plenty of lemons, but this appeared to be close enough to homemade. I’d consider adding some fresh mint next time and gin or vodka would be an excellent addition. Even my son who is not a cucumber fan was enamored of this drink. It was a perfect refresher to balance out the spicy salsa we had at dinner.
I’ve been wanting a cucumber/lime mocktail after trying a lime cucumber hard seltzer. This seems like the perfect recipe (if I swap limes for lemons). Of course Deb has exactly what I need!
Now my favorite way to enjoy lemonade and so easy to batch up. Everyone is raving and The Cheesecake Factory now offers it for anyone looking to try before making the mixture at home.