Easy to make, refreshing and delicious to drink. From The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook:
The combination of cucumber, coriander, and sugar makes a simple syrup that tastes like a cross between vanilla and citrus. It makes a great base for our refreshing summer cooler: just add sparkling water and a little lime juice. This same simple syrup can also be used in summer cocktails.
Cucumber Simple Syrup (makes 2 cups – serves 8)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 4 Kirby cucumbers (1/2 pound total), peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
Cucumber Cooler (for 1 drink)
- 1/4 cup cucumber syrup
- 1/2 cup sparkling water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 3 to 4 slices skin-on Kirby cucumber, for garnish
For the Syrup: In a small saucepan,bring the water, sugar, and coriander seeds to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumbers to the pan, cover, remove from heat, and let stand at room temperature until mixture is cool. Strain and discard the cucumbers and coriander. (Refrigerated, the syrup will keep for several weeks)
For the cooler: Pour the cucumber syrup into a tumbler and top it off with the sparkling water. Add the juice and stir to combine. Add the cucumber slices and serve while sparkling water is still sparkling.
Variation: For a super-intense cucumber flavor, you can take this one step further. Leave the cucumbers unpeeled. Cut them into chunksand puree them in a food processor. Add the puree to the sugar syrup, cover and let stand at room temperature until cool, then strain and store as directed.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy and stay cool this summer!