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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cucumber Lime Cooler

This cool summer drink can be made with or without alcohol.

Alcohol should always be enjoyed in moderation and red wine is my first choice, but I'm not opposed to the occasional cocktail, especially when it comes to summer entertaining.

I like to serve guests an apéritif, the traditional French before-dinner drink, and this refreshing cucumber lime cooler is a crowd pleaser. Unlike most cocktails that contain sugar, soda or fruit juice, this one is a healthier combination of vegetable juice, lime and mint. Use organic, unwaxed cucumbers and leave the skin on to get the most antioxidants in the juice.

Whether or not you add vodka, be sure to use a stainless steel cocktail shaker because this drink is best served very, very cold.

2 parts fresh organic cucumber juice, plus slices to garnish
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
1 part good quality vodka (or substitute more cucumber juice)
1 part loosely packed mint leaves (2 or 3 sprigs), plus more to garnish
Ice cubes

Special equipment: juicer, stainless steel cocktail shaker

Juice the cucumber. Place 2 ice cubes at the bottom of a stainless steel cocktail shaker. Add the mint leaves on top and 2 more ice cubes. Use a large pestle or the end of a wooden spoon to muddle the mint and the ice cubes.

Add the cucumber juice, lime juice and vodka. Shake until very cold, pour over ice and serve immediately.

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