When I saw this recipe, I just couldn’t resist. See that photo above of seemingly ordinary, if not spiced up, ‘logs’ of cucumber? They are what’s called a ‘solid cocktail’…. and they are surprisingly simple to make. They do however require a vacuum sealer and vacuum canister. BEWARE: They are addictive!
I don’t think there is a lot of actual alcohol in the cucumbers, but you can taste it, subtilely in these solid cucumber martini’s. But what you don’t ingest inside the cucumbers, you drink on the side from the leftover liquid in the vacuum canister (which has now been infused with cucumber juice).
So first you make your martini. Vodka, vermouth, and a simple syrup (I used honey melted in warm water). Normally you wouldn’t see simple syrup in a martini, but it offsets the bitterness of the cucumber. You won’t notice it when you do the ‘transformation’. You can substitute other alcohol or fruits / vegetable. The fruit / vegetable should be fairly substantial… ie use asian pear not Bartlett pear.
Once you make your martini, cut the cucumber into sections, cutting out the seeds altogether. The cucumber should be cold. Put the martini in a shaker with ice to chill as well. All the cucumbers and martini mix should go in a canister, then pull a vacuum on it. It should stop vacuuming when the bubbles cease. When the vacuum stops, release the pressure and the liquid martini forces into the open pores of the fruit. I repeat this process about 3 times, stirring the bottom fruit to the top to assure I get all completely saturated.
I served these with a little sprinkling of Tajin, salt, and orange zest.
I also made an apple martini version with apple and a apple martini concoction (vodka, honey syrup, and a dash of bitters). I sprinkled them with thyme leaves, oregano flowers, and salt.
I liked the cucumber better. John liked the apple better. They were both good.
What can we make next? Hmmm.