This week’s A la Carte piece on beating the heat with sangria arrived just in time for a break in the weather. The story‘s timing is almost as paradoxical as clouds bringing rain to clear the air but also lightning that could ignite new wildfires.
That shouldn’t keep anyone from toasting to lower temperatures in the next few days. While enjoying a good bottle of local white or rose seems clouded by all the smoke, many of us need a little pick-me-up.
So here’s another summer sipper that highlights local fruits. Gin is one of my husband’s favorite spirits, and the cucumber in this drink would be a good use for all the “lemon” specimens coming on in our garden. Those round cukes could be sliced crosswise like citrus fruits and perched on the glass’ rim.
Cucumber Collins With Blueberries
1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber
Ice, as needed
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons simple syrup (see note)
1/4 to 1/3 cup club soda
Cucumber slices, blueberries and mint leaves, for garnish
To a cocktail shaker, add the cucumber and muddle to extract all of its juices. Fill shaker with the ice and gin, lime juice and simple syrup.
Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with desired amount of the club soda. Garnish with a cucumber slice and fresh blueberries.
Makes 1 serving.
NOTE: To make simple syrup, cook equal parts sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.
— Recipe adapted by the Detroit Free Press from Food and Drink magazine’s summer 2009 issue.