From the Harvest: Ginger, Lime and Rose Water Cuketail
By JOHN HOUSER III and Special to The Baltimore Sun
Jun 26, 2012 | 4:58 PM
Is there a vegetable subtler than the cucumber? Well, maybe cauliflower, but when used in a way that maximizes its grassy flavor, the cucumber can prove to be a great buy at your local farmers' market. From May until November, the cuke is used mainly as a topper on salads and as a member of the always bland crudites platter. It dreams of one day becoming a fancy sandwich served with tea.
What it might never have imagined is becoming a bright and thirst-quenching drink for hot summer days. This recipe teams cucumber with gin, lime juice, ginger syrup and rose water. They accent cucumber's smooth flavor with a tangy and floral kick. Don't be put off by the inclusion of rose water. This fantastically fragrant extract is available at most natural food stores and can be used as a base for a granita (or even as a perfume, if needed). If you want to make this drink virgin, substitute seltzer for the gin and add a little more of the ginger simple syrup.
Take the leftover grated cucumber and mix with Greek yogurt, garlic paste (1 clove), minced fresh mint, and a splash of lemon juice. Finish with salt and pepper for a dip that begs to be eaten with toasted pita bread. It pairs well with the gin cuketail to help relieve the heat of summer.