British treats: cucumber cocktails

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Cucumber is the ultimate British cocktail accompaniment and in one short month theses fruits (technical classification, they have an enclosed seed and develop from a flower) will be coming in season. Rather than losing their rich flavour in a Pimm's Cup why not try some of these more diverse cocktails from the likes of Jim Meehan, Sam Ross, Alex Kammerling, Damian Windsor and Terry Cashman.

Easy

Zakuski Martini
Appropriately named after the Russian snack, this cocktail was created in 2002 by Alex Kammerling in London.
Glass: Martini
Garnish: Cucumber peel
Method: Muddle cucumber in base of shaker. Add other ingredients, shake with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
1 inch English cucumber (chopped & peeled)
2 shots Ketel One Citroen
½ shot De Kuyper Triple Sec
½ shot Freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ shot Sugar syrup (1 water : 2 sugar)

Moderate

French Maid
As Jim Meeham said when he gave us this recipe, "This hybrid of Audrey Saunders Gin Gin Mule substitutes cognac for gin and adds falernum and cucumber. Milk & Honey barman Sam Ross has a similar drink made with Bourbon dubbed the Kentucky Maid: consider this her spicy French sister."
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Mint sprig speared cucumber slice
Method: Muddle cucumber in base of shaker. Add next 5 ingredients, shake with ice and fine strain into ice-filled glass. Top with ginger beer.
3 slice English cucumber (chopped & peeled)
8 fresh Mint leaves
1½ shot Cognac V.S.O.P.
½ shot Taylor's Velvet Falernum liqueur
¾ shot Freshly squeezed lime juice
⅓ shot Sugar syrup (1 water : 2 sugar)
1 shot Ginger beer

Cobble Hill
Created in 2009 by Sam Ross at Milk and Honey, New York City. Sam describes this drink as "a summertime Manhattan" - it is.
Glass: Coupette
Garnish: Lemon zest twist (discarded) & cucumber slice
Method: Muddle cucumber in base of stirring glass. Add other ingredients, stir with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
2 slices English cucumber (chopped & peeled)
2 shots Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond
½ shot Martini Extra Dry
½ shot Averna Amaro Siciliano

Difficult

Tijuana Brass
This is basically a Tommy's Margarita topped with cucumber foam. Created in 2009 by Damian Windsor at The Roger Room, Los Angeles.
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Cucumber foam
Method: Shake first three ingredients with ice and fine strain into ice-filled glass. Top with cucumber foam (fill a cream whipper two-thirds full with equal parts liquefied cucumber juice, 1:1 simple syrup and egg white, charge with two CO2 cartridges and chill).
2 shots Tequila (100% agave) (blanco)
¾ shot Agave nectar / syrup
1 shot Freshly squeezed lime juice

Try one out in London

Fernet Me Not
Created by Terry Chasman, Head Bartender at Callooh Callay, Shoreditch. Fernet Me Not uses muddled cucumber, gin, Fernet Branca and lemon juice topped with prosecco for a bitter and delicious aperitif-style drink.

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