kachumber cooler

If you go way back in the land of Smitten Kitchen, you might know that one of my favorite restaurants of all time was called Tabla, specifically the more casual, heavier on the small plates, downstairs space called the Bread Bar. In my early years in New York, I went there as often as I could scrape the change together. I’m pretty sure we ate there for my 25th birthday. Alex met my parents there for the first time. We even put the (now discontinued) wine glasses on our wedding registry. I obsessed over every dish and can reel off the names of several just from memory — saag paneer pizza, potato apple chaat, black pepper shrimp, boondi raita, aloo kulcha, and the mango kulfi pops. The cocktails were also exceptional; Alex loved the Masala Mary, and I loved the Tamarind Margarita and the Kachumber Cooler; we drank them standing up, because it was always crowded, and snacked on my desert island favorite, the bar popcorn with ghee and chat masala, although we’d also never say no to the chickpea-battered onion rings with a spicy masala ketchup.

cucumber, jalapenomuddle it

After Tabla closed in 2009, we went out to eat everywhere the chef, Floyd Cardoz, cooked next — North End Grill, Paowalla, later called Bombay Bread Bar, where he rekindled the menu with many Tabla favorites, much to our delight. It closed a little under a year ago, and I was impatiently waiting to hear what he’d be up to next when a friend texted early one morning in March that he had died of complications relating to Covid-19. He was only 59.


We’ve lost so many people this year; there are an uncountable number of lives that have been cruelly cut short due to this virus. And while his is no more singularly tragic than anyone else’s, I think about it a lot because it was such a tremendous shock, and because his cooking had such a significant impact on me.

kachumber cooler

This summer, I’ve taken his two cookbooks down from the shelves many times, glad we’ve been left with so many of his recipes to enjoy. This spicy cocktail is named after an Indian kachumber salad that usually consists of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes chili peppers, and sometimes lemon, lime, or herbs. Here, he uses just cucumber, cilantro, and chili, muddled in your glass. Shake it up with gin, lime juice, and simple syrup, then strain it over ice, for a bracing, spicy, and cooling cocktail that feels like the absolutely perfect antidote for another hot, stormy week.

kachumber cooler



Six months ago: Sweet Potato Salad with Pepita Dressing
One year ago: Ultimate Zucchini Bread
Two years ago: Marbled Raspberry Pound Cake
Three years ago: German Chocolate Cake + A Wedding Cake
Four years ago: Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding
Five years ago: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
Six years ago: Three-Ingredient Summertime Salsa and Blueberry Crumb Cake
Seven years ago: Banana Nutella and Salted Pistachio Popsicles
Eight years ago: Zucchini Bread Pancakes and Zucchini, Tomato and Rice Gratin
Nine years ago: Corn Buttermilk and Chive Popovers
Ten years ago: Nectarine Brown Butter Buckle and Sweet and Smoky Oven Spare Ribs
Eleven years ago: Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie
Twelve years ago: Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons and Sour Cherry Slab Pie
Thirteen years ago: Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte and Garlic Mustard Glazed Skewers
Fourteen years ago: Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Kachumber Cooler

  • Servings: 1
  • Source: Floyd Cardoz
  • Print

To make simple syrup, heat 1 tablespoon water with 2 tablespoons sugar, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. Pour into cup or bowl and 1 tablespoon ice-cold water to cool it somewhat, then chill in the fridge until needed. Scale up as needed. Leftovers keep in fridge.

  • 2 1/2-inch slices of cucumber, plus a couple thinner slices for garnish
  • 2 1/4-inch slices of a mild-to-medium chile, such as jalapeño)
  • 8 fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup
  • 1 3/4 ounces (3 1/2 tablespoons) gin

Muddle thick slices of cucumber, cilantro, and chili in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass until well broken-down and mashed. Add gin, lime, and simple syrup and shake vigorously. Strain into medium or double rocks glass, half filled with ice. Add more ice as desired. Garnish with thinner slices of cucumber.

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116 comments on kachumber cooler

  1. Carolina

    Was just looking for mocktail inspiration for the weekend and I think I’ve found it. Perfect use for the cucumbers and chiles overflowing from my garden, too!

  2. Alison

    You are doing a very nice job of addressing the huge impact of current events through the lens of home cooking and cookbooks. Kudos to a job well done, and thank you.

    1. Janie

      I agree wholeheartedly. Know that the authenticity of that effort comes shining through. In a time where many others (no judgement, just fact) leave readers with a very contrived and performative tone, it’s all the more impactful. Thank you, Deb. We appreciate you.

    2. Ann

      I agree — such a difficult line to walk. And Deb is navigating it well. So much appreciated, to still have comfort and food talk, but not be tone deaf. Yes, thank you.

    3. Elizabeth Ferrell

      Yes, absolutely. Thank you for this Deb. We all feel these losses and its important to not overlook the role these people had in our lilves.

      1. Lily

        Yes! Deb, you have always felt like “my friend Deb” because of SK’s warm tone. The way you have moved to discuss racial justice and the fact that our lives have shifted irrevocably due to the pandemic seals the deal. Thank you for being you. (And all the recipes over the years). Your food never fails to cheer me up, and now that I am a mom, I can’t wait to share these dishes with my family.


  3. I was just as shocked when I first learnt of his death. He made Indian cooking accessible and his kind endearing mannerisms (especially as seen on Top Chef Masters) made me like him even more. He will be missed tremendously.

  4. Barkha Cardoz

    Thank you for honoring my husband … he would be so happy. This is how he will always be remembered .. with love and beautiful memories.

    1. I am, also, so sorry for your loss; which so many of us feel deeply from being lucky enough to eat his food and have so many precious memories associated with it. Sending you my most heartfelt condolences, and my gratitude forever for your husband’s magic and poetry.

    2. JJ

      Dear Barkha,

      In 2003, my boyfriend and I went to Tabla on the 1 year anniversary of meeting one another for the first time. Later that night, we got engaged, and we’ve been married for 15 years. Your husband was part of our love story and, I’m sure, many others. His legacy lives in our hearts.

      With gratitude and sympathy,

    3. Nicole

      While I never got to enjoy your husband’s brilliant recipes and cooking, knowing it inspired Deb (who in turn has been my inspiration to cook and explore recipes) means that he has touched my life as well. I’m going to make one of these today and toast to his memory. My condolences on your loss and I hope knowing how he touched the world can ease the pain. 💕

    4. Lois

      Of course you were obsessed with Floyd Cardoz’s cooking Deb … one more reason to find inspiration in your recipes and writing! Tabla was my all time favorite NY restaurant and always my go-to recommendation for anyone visiting the city. And such good memories from several special meals at Bombay Bread Bar. To Barkha: your husband’s loss was felt far and wide. May his memory be a blessing.

    5. witloof

      Dear Barkha,
      Please accept my condolences for the cruel loss of your husband. He was so loved and admired, and his work and his vision were so deeply embedded in the culture here in NYC. May his memory be for a blessing.

    6. Alice

      I’m so sorry for your husband’s death. There is no greater gift to the world to have shared the joy of cooking and food with others. Love to you and your family for this senseless loss.

    7. Ro

      I wish your family peace and healing from this terrible tragedy. My family absolutely adored your husband’s restaurants and we looked forward to treating ourselves at Tabla, and later at Bombay Bread Bar. We have celebrated first jobs, first anniversaries, and promotions with Chef Floyd’s food. My husband and I grew up in India, and I cannot overstate how much we appreciated Mr. Cardoz’s magic with Indian cuisine. He took the spirit and essence of India’s diverse foods and merged it so fluently with American flavors to create an elevated diasporic cuisine that we valued immensely and miss terribly. As most Indians know, the typical Indian restaurant fare in the U.S. is ghastly, and does not represent the subtle and carefully composed flavors of Indian cooking. Mr. Cardoz was both respectful of and endlessly creative with Indian food, and we appreciated that so much. Please know that his loss is felt deeply within the Indian-American community. Our family mourns him, while also feeling gratitude at having sat at his table and partaken of the joys of his cooking.

    8. Kristen

      Barkah – I, like so many others, was so heartbroken by Floyd’s passing. Already a fan myself, I introduced my husband to Tabla 1 week before its closing and we ended up going back again 3 days later because my husband couldn’t believe that he’d never been before and now it was closing. Then, like so many others, we followed him around the city – spending countless birthdays and anniversaries celebrating with his food. While we only had the opportunity to meet Floyd a few times, we truly felt like he was someone we knew and cheered for his success as if it were our own.
      We are so sorry for your loss and so thankful that we can continue to celebrate him through the recipes he shared with the world.

    9. Barkha Cardoz

      Thank you Deb .. this has been such a balm to see so many people enjoy not just the drink, but share memories of Floyd’s food and his love for cooking and feeding everyone with amazing passion and joy.

      Thank you everyone for all your kind thoughts and comments … my boys and I are eternally grateful. 🙏🏻

      1. Dani

        HI Barkha, my dad was the paper man for Tabla from the time it opened and for all the years that followed until it closed. He wanted me to share with you how much he respected, and enjoyed working with Floyd. He was the sweetest, most generous man, smart, creative, always kind, and we always appreciated each other. He will be sorely missed.

        1. Barkha Cardoz

          Dani…. please thank him from me. Not sure if he and I have met. I am grateful for the kind words. Floyd was a special human being .. that was his being! 🙏🏻♥️

      2. Anurag

        Deb, thank you for opening this up. You and I must have passed each other many times in the aughts.
        Dear Bharka,
        I am so sorry for you, Justin and Peter. What a tragedy. Thought to share my experiences. For 5 months in 2002 I worked in the kitchen at Tabla. I finished business school convinced that I should have gone to culinary school instead. So returning to NYC, I wrote to and started calling 17 different chefs. Only two took my calls seriously (One took my call to laugh at me.); Chef Cardoz was one. He told me about his career change and to come both weekend days and that his sous chefs (Dan and Mohan) would see if I had “dancing feet.” Well on Monday, he replied to my inquiry that I could begin an externship the next day. Over five months I went from trimming asparagus to being a line cook, making so many mistakes. He never yelled or became enraged; just continuously correcting me (my scallions were never thin enough) and answering my questions (Anurag, why are you asking me again about the impact of 17th century trade from India into Portuguese cuisine?). Anyhow though I didn’t continue in a culinary career, I would go see him a few times each year since then. Each time we’d talk a little about food but much more so about fishing and Peter and Justin and UConn and all sorts of things. He’d ask me about my career and proffer little bits of management advice I treasure. I’m sure you had no idea as he was just that generous. Just a normal day for him.
        My kids grew up eating the recipes I furiously scribbled in those 2002 months knowing them as “Chef Cardoz’s dishes”. Our son washes rice like Chef Cardoz taught me. Our daughter toasts, cools and crushes spices like I used to do in that spice closet at Tabla. Soon I’ll be teaching them “Chef Cardoz’s dishes.”

        1. Barkha Cardoz

          Anurag.. thank you for sharing this with me. It brings a smile to my heart knowing he gave his all .. always! He was a generous and kind soul. And I am so grateful and honored that we are his family and see what an impact he has left behind with so many ! ♥️

    10. Renee L

      Dear Barkha,

      I know I’m coming very late to this post, but just reading “Kachumber Cooler” brought me to tears yet again. I so wished I could reach out to you last March but had no way to reach you. I hope you get a notification and will see this now.

      I didn’t know your husband well — I only spoke with him a couple of times at Paowalla though I ate there as often as I could (I don’t live in the NYC suburbs any more so could only go when I was there for work) — but he was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I worked in the industry for a while and didn’t think someone as kind — as *good*, just so good a person — as he was could survive in the industry, but he did. And he more than survived — he shared his gifts, his truly magnificent food and his joy — with so many of us. I feel so very, very lucky to have experienced that.

      I am so very, very sorry for your loss, and for the boys’. I can only hope that hearing stories like mine continues to comfort you, even now and for years to come.

      1. Barkha Cardoz

        Thank you Renee … he was a Good man and our family is so proud that he lived his life doing all he could to make it a good work environment for all his staff. He always believed that if you were happy.. it showed in your food!

  5. Kat

    Thank you so much for featuring this! The Kachumber Cooler is my favorite cocktail and I’ve followed it (and Floyd’s incredible cooking) from restaurant to restaurant over the years. He is someone I was lucky enough to get to know a little bit, and I have many friends who worked with him, and miss him terribly. He was an amazing person in so many ways, and a huge loss to this world!

  6. My boyfriend and I had the opportunity to eat at Bombay Canteen, his restaurant in Mumbai. It was absolutely delicious (the desi tacos!) which would have been more than enough — but it just so happened that every single employee there was beyond kind. They went above and beyond — even emailing us recommendations for what to do in the other Indian cities we were visiting on our trip. We loved it so much that we squeezed in one last meal there before a late-night flight (a long story). But that’s all to say… Cardoz created such special places, and I feel so lucky to have been able to enjoy his world and hospitality. Can’t wait to try this Kachumber Cooler.

  7. JessicaD

    Ohhhh, when has a cooking blog / recipe post made me cry? Thank you for sharing. He sounds like a creative, wonderful spirit who will be missed.

    1. AbigaiI Krueger

      Jessicad, agree, it is powerful writing that makes you cry in a post. But that is the beauty of Deb and the Smitten followers, we connect to humanity, because what is more human than food.

      Thank you Deb, and all who are here doing what you can to feed each other.

  8. Kelsey

    This looks so refreshing, and a great way to honor a chef you loved.

    I don’t know why I’m having trouble reading this, but can you help? Is it meant to be 2 slices of cucumber that are a 1/2 inch thick, or multiple slices of cucumber that are 2.5 inches thick each (same applies for the pepper)?

  9. JP

    Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking story. Too many lives lost to this virus that could have been prevented.
    I am going to make this in his honor.
    Keep up the good work of sharing these stories and recipes.

  10. Emily

    That’s so sad! I’m actually making your pistachio masala lamb chops now that were inspired by Tabla. So yummy. Can’t wait to try the drink.

  11. Marcia

    Ah, We loved it too,Just before the restaurant
    closed I gave my husband a gift certificate We Never got to use it.
    They used to make me all the beautiful drinks sans
    Alcohol. Will definitely try this one.

  12. Vanessa

    This just made me a little teary. I never ate at any of his restaurants, which I greatly regret. Such a terrible loss. I cannot wait to make this and raise a glass to his megawatt smile.

  13. Collette

    I went to the Bread Bar on 3 separate occasions when visiting from Chicago. The first time was based on your recommendation, but the second and third were all Mr. Cardoz. The food, the ambiance, the people, the FOOD. I remember feeling dazed leaving the first time. It was, to me, a magical experience. I will raise a glass of this in his honor and wish his family love and peace.

  14. Sandra Salowey

    It is so sad when we lose those we care about, and in this instance, someone who had influenced and inspired us. I am sorry for the passing of Chef Cardoz, who obviously meant a great deal to you, Deb. His memory lives on through the foods that he shared. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  15. DianaW

    For a more cucumberish flavour, try adding the juice strained from grated cucumber – easy to collect if the cucumber is put in a sieve over a bowl. It’s a good way to cut the sweetness of a summer drink.

  16. This a sad blog post. We just made this recipe, and it came out amazing. Floyd sounds like he was a great chef, hopefully we can find a cure for this virus soon. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Just me

      Sipping an alcohol-free version now too cool off from the garden, which happily yielded all the right ingredients. I just used club soda because I am allergic to gin and don’t really care for vodka (not sure I am allowed to say that on Smitten… Sorry, Alex. More for you.).

      I was missing three things — the skill, tools, and patience to muddle properly. I cut a one-inch hunk of cuke , a half-inch chunk of jalepeno, and “about that much” cilantro. Chopped it all up and tossed into a Pyrex cup with 1 T sugar and 2T water. Stirred vigorously. Strained, poured over ice and topped up with club soda. Undoubtedly not as good as Deb’s or Chef Cardoz’s, but lovely, refreshing, and I toasted Chef Cardoz’s memory. May it continue to be for a blessing.

  17. 2wapiti

    I left NYC long before Chef Cardoz started making what sounds like magic. We made this today, and oooooheeeeyyyyeeee did we love it. Thank you, Chef, and Deb!

  18. RS

    Frequent visitor, but rare commenter here. I feel compelled to comment today.

    We moved to Manhattan in 2009, so sadly never went to Tabla. But I worked in the building behind North End Grill for many years, and then also moved in to live in the building in front of it. So I’ve had the pleasure of eating there many times. One of my favorite dishes there was his upma, a humble South Indian dish that my mother and grandmother used to make back home, and that I now make as comfort food. I also marveled at how he made that humble dish to win the Top Chef honors.

    We sadly moved out of NYC, but returned a couple of years ago and ate at Bombay Bread Bar and absolutely loved it, gave me a sense of what Tabla must have been like. Thank you, Mr. Cardoz, for making so many of us happy through your food. Your journey is an inspiration to many. Rest in peace.

    And Deb, many of your recipes are on regular rotation in my home. In fact, there is a last piece of the strawberry summer cake on the counter right now – not for long I’m sure. I also get my New York fix from reading this blog. Thank you.

  19. Pascale

    Served this to my neighbour this evening! It was the perfect drink for social distancing drinks on a hot evening in Ottawa – I told her about your post, about Mr. Cardoz and all the lovely comments from people around the world who’d eaten at his restaurants. We raised our glasses to him and to you for sharing them, Deb.

  20. Sarah Jean Miller

    This sounds lovely and is a lovely tribute. Is there a particular type of Gin you recommend to use for this cocktail?

  21. Sam

    Loved Tabla! Never had this drink there though. My go to Sunday morning cocktail is a Gordon’s cup which is muddle limes, cucumber and simple syrup, add gin, shake and serve unstrained over rocks with a bit of freshly ground pepper. I think the addition of spice and cillanto would be excellent and that the pepper would definitely still work.

  22. Jocelyn

    What lovely memories of Tabla and Floyd. We loved it there, too, and similarly followed him everywhere. We were heartbroken when he passed.

  23. Kate

    Made these last night for friends, basically did the recipe x8 in a one quart mason jar: about 6” of cucumber (sliced), one small jalapeño (sliced), handful cilantro (stems ok), muddle together, add 1 3/4 c. Gin, 1/2 c. Lime juice, 1/2 c. Simple syrup. I think that’s the right proportions. Just fit in the mason jar. I let it sit for an hour or two, then strained out the veggies and added a few more slices of cucumber for serving. The one thing I’d say is the hotness of the jalapeño can vary widely, so if you are sensitive to heat, be careful. I am guessing the fact that I left it to sit for a little while probably made it hotter/stronger.
    But so delicious! Everyone wanted the recipe.

  24. Laura Kim

    I was also shocked about Floyd’s passing. Thank you for posting this recipe – may the recipes and vibrancy of Tabla live on in his honor. XO

  25. Steven H Vogelstein

    Just made this tonite on a very hot summer Chicago eve – perfect summer cocktail. (Substituted some Columbian hot sauce for the jalapeño – seemed to work great!)
    Later I read the posts about the loss of Chef Cardoz and the heartfelt tributes to him. Feeling honored to have been a beneficiary of his legacy.

  26. Julanne

    I absolutely cannot tolerate cilantro. It have had to avoid restaurant dishes that I am sure were delicious. I understand that it not only adds flavor to many foods, but is the defining essence for some. That said, is there an acceptable substitution for the cilantro in this drink?

    1. I would leave it out. I didn’t really get a good cilantro note when we made ours. Maybe add a little more lime juice in place of the cilantro and give that a try. I bet it would be as good.

    2. Jeanette

      Julianne, please note that is a genetic thing, to not like cilantro (I guess it tastes like soap to you? That’s what I’ve read). At any rate, I also read that fresh celery leaves are a good substitute for cilantro. You can often find them on celery stalk that haven’t been trimmed too much. I personally like cilantro, but I LOVE celery leaves, they taste very fresh and grassy.

  27. I have a new favorite cocktail!!! I can’t have the sugar in simple syrup, so we dissolve about 1 T of monkfruit sugar in about 1 T of warm water instead. It was perfect!

  28. Laura P.

    This is so pretty! Since I’m pregnant right now and not drinking alcohol, I might have to try making it with soda water in place of the gin, as soon as my cucumbers and peppers are both ripe (I got a late start planting my garden this year).

    It’s sad to hear about the loss of an inspirational chef in your life, Deb. My sympathies.

  29. Carswell

    Oh yum!!!

    With the oppressive heat we are all experiencing this summer I’ve been working my way through gin based cocktails. I find them extremely refreshing. I just discovered Tanqueray’s Rangpur Lime Gin – and I think it would be absolutely perfect for this.

  30. katie

    Made these last night on the fly. We left out the cilantro because we didn’t have it, but the drink was so tasty we plan to pick some up for next time. Really a great drink and nice to do something else with gin other than tonics. And my friend pointed out how refreshing it was to use these flavors with something other than tequila.

  31. Dianne

    Thank you for an amazing post, Deb. My heart has ached so much this year, and you captured the tragedy so poignantly with this post, this New York tragedy and this American tragedy. And then you give us a drink to try to soothe us. I have admired you for a long time and Just have to say I appreciate you. This space you’ve created has always felt like the most neighborly and sincere help for ways to nurture each other – thanks for coming through again. Health to you and yours.

  32. Molly

    Deb, this was fantastic. Definitely in my top five cocktails ever, certainly the best I’ve made myself. I made it with gin as written, but I imagine it would be delicious with tequila as well. Thanks for this!

  33. Barbara

    Very sad about your chef Floyd. In general I am super anxious and protocol observant about this virus. It makes me crazy when people take it lightly. My own friends and family sometimes do and I come across as madly paranoid….your story underlines the devil virus threat. Be vigilant every one…its not worth playing with this one.

  34. Michelle

    I worked for Floyd at Tabla when it opened in 1999. It was my first job waiting tables in New York City. He was the MOST wonderful person – joyous, authentic, thoughtful and generous. The fact that he was an exceptional chef was just an added bonus. No one has influenced my love of food and fine dining more than Floyd Cardoz. His food was as exquisite as his heart was big. I love that you honored him here and in doing so, gave me another moment to think of him and how much I adored him.

  35. Martin

    Thanks, Deb, for sharing this story. We shall never forget how much this virus threats what we love. Im am writing this at a time, when it feels like people here in Germany feel overly secure. We are not.
    We share your grief.

  36. Julie Garagliano

    This is incredibly good! Thank you. And thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the loss of a favorite person. For me it was when John Prine died and a face was put on this awful virus. Keep up the good work and keep your spirits up. Things will get better.

  37. anne

    Wow. I got chills when reaching the point where he died. Shocking, although I don’t know why. So many have needlessly lost life because of the staggering incompetence of this government, such as it is. Nice to have the books to keep his spirit alive.

    1. Barbara

      Does anyone know if he had a family that might benefit from us buying his books? I am not one to presume such things but we could spread the word….

  38. Moya

    I’ve only visited NY once, but lunch at Tabla was one of the highlights. I’m almost certain I had this same cocktail. I loved it so much I asked for the recipe and they gave it to me all typed up and tucked in a little envelope.
    I’m sorry to hear about the chef. It sounds like he was a great guy.

  39. Karen

    Hi Deb
    Your post really moved me, as did your article about school resumption in the NYT – until the current 2nd wave that we are experiencing in the southern parts of Australia at the moment, Covid didn’t really feel like it affected us as much as everywhere else. Whilst I am 2,000km removed from the current Covid issues the country is experiencing (and we are relatively safe at the moment), I am heartsick at what my friends in Melbourne are going through – even though we have been lucky enough to earn a reprieve between the first and second waves, where life felt like it was returning to normal, unlike other places like the US. Your post brought home the every day impacts of life at the moment, removed from the news feeds of statistics. It was horrific to read that a chef that you admired, succumbed to something like this. I read your post today (I’m behind), but then turned on the television on a rare night to myself, only to catch up on Ugly Delicious, and then to meet Floyd Cardoz on that program (despite being a massive fan of NYC, and having eaten at far too many fabulous restaurants there, I never had the opportunity to go to any of his restaurants) – to think that such an enthusiastic, clever person was gone, was heartbreaking.

    So thank you for this post – I will be making a Kachumber Cooler this weekend, and raising a glass to yourself, Mr Cardox, and NYC.

  40. Katie

    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe and your thoughts about the Chef. We enjoyed our cocktails with double the amount of jalapeño and Tito’s because we were out of gin (how could we?!). It was so so good. Desperate to make it for some guests… someday, right?

  41. Joanne

    Dear Deb, Just want to say THANK YOU for your whole project. Whenever I’m cooking something new to me, your site is one of ~three I check to triangulate on a recipe – if I don’t simply use yours, which often happens. And your recent piece in the Times was so well said and necessary in this moment. Given what you shared in your essay, wishing you well as you and your family regroup from the personal impact of the pandemic –

  42. Maria

    This was so good and the perfect summer cocktail. The muddling takes a little effort, though, I’m super lazy and wanted to use a food processor 😁 Maybe next time! Thanks, Deb, for the recipe and the tribute.

  43. NB

    Thank you for this touching post and honoring the memory of this chef. So many good souls bringing beauty and flavor to the world have been lost. Grateful to know of his two books.

  44. Monica

    I really appreciate this post <3 First of all, I've always wondered how to make these spicy cocktails and this was delicious. But more importantly, thank you for the tribute to Chef Floyd. I didn't know him, but after he passed away I found out that he was a well loved family friend. Reading the multitude of media, etc. praising and remembering him made me feel the loss of a person I had never known, while feeling the frantic tension of the pandemic at once. I wish I had eaten at Tabla or one of his other restaurants while he was alive, or just gotten to meet him. I'd like to think taking a sip of this fresh drink is a tribute to his memory.

  45. I’ve only recently discovered you, really, but I feel like I’ve met an old friend. You cook the way I do, you love it the way I do, but when I saw this it stoped me in my tracks. Favorite chef, favorite restaurant, favorite drink, followed him everywhere he went, and felt the shock and pain of his passing exactly as you described. You took your interests in food and gathering at the table and created this wonderful platform for sharing your perspective and your food. I came from a similar place and turned my attention to making the plates to serve this kind of food on. Different paths, kindred spirits I think. Glad to virtually meet you- now off to have a kachumber cooler… thank you!

  46. Rick L.

    I just started subscribing to your blog. You really do a wonderful job and your passion is all over this. Thank you so much.

    I want to experiment with making a chilled melon soup. Do you have any ideas?

  47. Jen

    I just came to say that I also loved Tabla (the lamb sandwich!), and Bombay Bread Bar as well. Floyd Cardoz is sorely missed by my household. Thank you for this lovely tribute to those great cocktails!

  48. Lucia Pelayo

    This drink is absolutely all that it claims to be; spicy, cooling, refreshing and down right delicious.

    Thank you for sharing and helping us get through a hot summer’s night with a special treat as this is.

  49. Michael Villar

    This is very similar to a refreshing drink I make. My version has ginger instead of chiles for some mild heat and basil/mint instead of cilantro. Going to try this recipe soon.

  50. Steve

    I have used other fresh herbs with this, basil, celery leaves, tarragon, and they all add a different terrific dimension to this summery cocktail.

  51. Barbara

    I so miss this exact drink from Tabla and think of it fondly, along with my nights with dear friends dining at Tabla and the Bread Bar. Thanks for posting this!

  52. Michelle

    This post made me so happy. Bread Bar and Tabla were the spot where my husband and I celebrated every good thing that happened to either of us until they closed 10 years ago. Your post came at just the right time. In honor of Floyd Cardoz’s memory, and reminded by you, we made Kachumber Coolers and mustard greens and beans and the most delicious pilao, and we toasted to all the good memories he helped create. Thank you for helping us relive some of those happy times. Next up, Masala Marys!

  53. I was similarly as stunned when I first scholarly of his demise. He made Indian cooking open and his caring charming characteristics (particularly as seen on Top Chef Masters) made me like him considerably more. He will be remembered fondly enormously.

  54. Bon Kushnerick

    Thank you for putting the recipe online !
    Loved Tabla and his other restaurants and agree Chef was gone too soon.
    This is one of our summer favs and misplaced the recipe. Alas no cilantro in house so I’m going to sub in some fresh mint.