This cucumber cocktail inspired by Washington DC’s Founding Farmers restaurant will add a bright spot to brunch or dinner, thanks to its refreshing flavors.
This post, brought to you by Pearl Vodka, is inspired by my recent adventure of heading out solo.
Traveling alone isn’t something I’ve ever been totally comfortable with. Seeing new sights but having nobody to share them with.
Being the single soul at the table built for two, head bent down in pretend immersion in that totally engrossing book you just happened to pick up last minute at the airport’s Hudson News.
Taking selfies that are the true definition of selfies. By yourself. Until a yet-to-be-discovered, wanna-be-oh-so-suave boy band photobombs your monumental selfie.
But I’ve discovered traveling solo provides a bigger opportunity to see and hear what’s going on around me.
I’m not immersed in being a tour guide making sure everyone else I’m with is happy. Instead, traveling alone is the opportunity to do exactly what I want to do with no other opinion seekers along for the ride. To see what I want to see.
I’m not absent mindedly running into others, ignoring cues, flashing lights or missing out on the subtle nuances of the heartbeat of a city. Instead I’m in tune. I’m totally aware. And I see others and hear their conversations.
Eavesdropping? I prefer to call it politely observing.
This spring I was in Washington DC where I spoke at the IACP Conference, aka International Association of Culinary Professionals. The day before the conference started I lit out on my own to explore this nation’s Capital. No family. No blogging friends. Just me and my earbuds walking around DC as I listened to the final episodes of this podcast in hopes of a chance sighting of Michelle Obama with her watering can in the garden or a presidential motorcade.
Unfamiliar with the local eats, it only took a quick web search and a survey of Yelp recommends to land me at the counter of Founding Farmers for lunch. Somehow I wiggled my way to the last seat at the counter and avoided the 1 ½ hour wait for a table. This is one place you are willing to wait.
Being Thirsty Thursday and just a smidge past noon, I promptly perused their cocktail menu and landed on the Cucumber Delight Cocktail.
You are so happy I did.
Founding Fathers totally delivered on the eats with my order of the deviled egg sampler and the most amazingly smokey shrimp and grits I’ve ever tasted. But the cucumber cocktail is what got me going.
I did indeed order all of that food for one and didn’t have to share one measly bite. That is, until I made friends with my fellow counter surfers Brian and Charmaine, a Canadian chef and his wife who were there with the plans of eating their way through DC. Hey, I couldn’t eat ALL of those eggs by myself. Or could I?
Would I have made those lunch counter friends sharing samples of one another’s lunch had I been with my own traveling companion?
If you know me, its a distinct possibility, but not a foregone conclusion.
I committed the cocktail’s bright, light, summery flavor to mouth memory (the sister to muscle memory) and brought it home with the happy anticipation of sipping it with friends as the warmth of summer days seep from our bones. And what do you know? I already have!
I’ve adapted the original recipe to create a simpler version with Pearl Cucumber Flavored Vodka so I could skip the muddling of cucumbers because the cucumber flavor comes ready to pour straight from the imported vodka’s bottle.
A simple syrup of equal parts super fine sugar and boiling water sweeten the cocktail to counter the punch of spice from a high quality ginger ale. If you prefer even more of a bite, ginger beer works well too. It’s just a bit more pungent.
A splash of sparkling water adds another layer of fizzy bubbles with a slice of cucumber and ball of cantaloupe that add color and a little something to much on. It’s an appetizing drink for sure. And one that’s made it’s way to my home to be shared.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.
Cucumber Delight Cocktail
- 2 ounces Pearl Cucumber Flavored Vodka
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce quality ginger ale or ginger beer
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- 1 ounce sparkling water
- 1 slice cucumber
- 1 cantaloupe ball
- Add Pearl Cucumber Flavored Vodka, simple syrup, ginger ale and lemon juice to a shaker. Add ice cubes, cover and shake vigorously. Strain into an old fashion glass, add ice, top with the sparkling water and garnish with a cucumber slice and cantaloupe.
This post is in partnership with Pearl Vodka. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
As you state, you’ve altered the recipe. However you’ve left out the most important ingredient, and this is a major omission. Do you know which? It really makes this drink what it is and robbing it of its essence isn’t doing this amazingly refreshing drink justice.
Cucumber cocktails are so refreshing but that vodka definitely saves a bit of work there. This drink sounds like something that’s need on a hot and humid day. Oh and that selfie is awesome.
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
This looks like THE ultimate refreshing drink for summer. I have a huge bottle of Pearl vodka in my liquor cabinet and I now know what it’s getting used for!
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
This drink is so refreshing. A few years back I started traveling by myself and absolutely loved it! It was great to explore and experience new adventures on my own.
Oh my gosh, YES! I’ve actually had a bottle of Pearl Cucumber on my bar for over a year now, and I just haven’t been sure what to do with it. I have ALL OF THESE INGREDIENTS on hand right now. It’s only 11am, but I’m tempted to make one. To go with my lunch. Shhh.
Hi Lori, you know, that’s the beauty of this recipe. The cantaloupe and cucumber can serve as lunch :)
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
What a beautiful cocktail, Heidi! I started traveling alone a few years ago and it was definitely strange at first. But now I really love it. It’s so freeing!
I absolutely adore this drink! And I love cucumber in cocktails, so this vodka is a must try!
As for traveling solo, I love it. It’s like dining alone – there’s such a different enjoyable dynamic to it.
Hallo Heidi, this is a very nice refreshing recipe, i love cucumber in cocktails, specially in combo with Gin, so this cucumber Vodka provides a new combination. :) I’ll check this out as soon as my cucumber Vodka arraives.
The only think i have to say as Pro Bartender (20 years ++) … first thing my students learn when it comes about mixing … NEVER shake carbonated ingrediends … this can be so dangerous … i saw many shakers explode in the years … sooo never put Champagne, Mineralwater, Sparkling Wine, Ginger Ale or etc in your shaker … simply add it up on the shaked drink and stir as a fnal step. As Pro we use the 2piece Boston Shaker and shake hard …. maby you use the three-piece metal (or cobbler shaker) and shake it softly … so this is not a big issue.
Greats from spain and keep up the good work ;) :)
Hi Markus! Thanks for contributing your expertise. I’ll be sure to make a note of that in the recipe itself. I did shake it a little softer, so no explosions yet!
This looks like the perfect, fresh, summer cocktail!
traveling solo is a bit liberating, and definitely gives new perspective. Love this cocktail Heidi!
Wow! I bet this is super refreshing!
I’m so excited to have found this! I’ve been to Founding Farmer’s and had this drink–it’s amazing! Can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing!! (I think they used Square One cucumber vodka when I was there.)
What a fun drink! Cucumbers are SO refreshing!! :)
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles
I love a good cucumber flavored cocktail. But I haven’t seen a cucumber vodka before. Ooooooo…I can see this bottle chillin’ in my freezer this summer! (love the melon you included, too!)
Gerry @ foodnessgracious
Ha, that selfie made me laugh! Looks like the next One-D. I can’t believe cucumber vodka is a thing but it sounds amazing!
Oh if it had only been 1-D. I would have been the hero at home :) And yes, cucumber vodka is definitely a thing!
What a gorgeous cocktail, Heidi! And the cucumber would be so bright and refreshing. When I was in my early 20s, I traveled through Europe by myself for 6 months. While I joined up with other backpackers for a couple of days at a time, some of my favorite times were the solo days.
I had the opp to go to Europe with my friend right after college too. She backed out. I chickened out. Now I wish I’d been far more adventurous.
Love this, Heidi. So refreshing. So happy it’s cucumber season!