It’s still raining here in Dublin and I’m very much dreaming of sunny days! I can’t wait until I don’t need to wear extra layers or a waterproof every time I go out. As I can’t magic the weather better, or afford to leave the country, I decided to bring summer into the house. What’s more summery than cucumber and mint? I can now sit in the house, with the heating on, dreaming of picnics and sunshine with my Cucumber and Mint Gin and Tonic!!
3 large handfuls of mint
300 ml water
300g granulated sugar
20ml lemon juice
Chop 1 1/2 cucumbers into cubes and remove the mint leaves from the stalks. Place into a large bowl and blitz with a hand blender until smooth.Strain through a muslin cloth into a bowl. Leave overnight (or at least 8 hours!). Don’t squeeze the bag, as tempting as it might be.
Measure out 500ml of the juice. Adjust the recipe if you don’t yield enough liquid. This does sometimes happen if the cucumbers are a little dryer. Place into a heavy bottom pan with the water, sugar and lemon juice. Simmer on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and then for a further 15 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally.
While the liquid is on the heat, turn on the oven onto the lowest setting to sterilise your jar. Place it in the oven for around 15 minutes, until warm to touch.
Remove from the heat. Skim off any scum that is on the surface, and re strain through your muslin cloth. Pour into your freshly sterilised, warm bottle and seal.
This cordial can be drunk in many ways! With water, lemonade, gin and tonic! Using a potato peeler, create ribbons of cucumber using the remaining half. Place this with a sprig of mint and drink! J
Keeps for 6 month unopened, once opened keep refrigerated consume within 4-6 weeks.