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Among the vast array of cocktails, the Cucumber Southside stands out as a refreshingly unique and innovative cocktail that beautifully marries tradition with modernity. Combining the classic elements of the Southside cocktail with the addition of fresh cucumber, the Cucumber Southside offers a tantalizing experience for the senses, making it a popular choice among cocktail enthusiasts worldwide.
The Southside cocktail, which traces its origins back to the Prohibition era in the United States. It was during this time of clandestine speakeasies and illegal alcohol consumption that the cocktail emerged as a means to mask the harsh taste of bootlegged spirits. Traditionally composed of gin, fresh mint, simple syrup, and lemon juice, the Southside quickly gained popularity for its balanced and zesty flavor profile.
Fast-forward to the present day, and we witness the evolution of this classic cocktail with the advent of the Cucumber Southside. By introducing muddled cucumber to the original recipe, a new dimension of taste and complexity is added to the mix. The natural essence of the cucumber infuses the cocktail with a refreshing and crisp quality, turning it into a perfect summer sipper. The cucumber not only complements the mint’s herbal notes but also adds a touch of subtle sweetness that harmonizes flawlessly with the citrusy zing from the lemon juice.
The preparation of a Cucumber Southside is an art form in itself. Bartenders skillfully muddle fresh cucumber slices and mint leaves at the bottom of a cocktail shaker, releasing their aromas and essential oils. This process is followed by the addition of premium gin, preferably London dry gin, known for its clean and botanical-forward profile. Next comes the lemon juice and simple syrup, striking a delicate balance between tartness and sweetness.
Once all the ingredients are added, the mixture is vigorously shaken with ice to achieve the perfect level of dilution and temperature. Finally, the luscious liquid is strained into a chilled cocktail glass, often garnished with a fresh cucumber wheel or mint sprig, enhancing the cocktail’s visual appeal.
60 ml gin
30 ml fresh lemon juice
15 ml simple syrup
2 slices of cucumber
5 mint leaves
Garnish: cucumber on a cocktail pick
Add the slices of cucumber, mint leaves, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and muddle.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice, and add gin and fresh lemon juice.
Shake for 10-12 seconds, until chilled.
Strain the mix into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a cucumber on a cocktail pick.