Cucumber-Lemon Refresher

Serves

A refreshing thirst quencher, this unusual cucumber-lemon drink is the perfect antidote for a hot steamy day. Cucumber juice is a beautiful shade of green and has a clean, fresh flavor.

It's fun to experiment with other combinations, too — try cucumber & lemongrass, or cucumber & mint — to create your own custom refreshers.

This drink is delicious without any sweetener, but you can add simple syrup, sugar or your preferred sweetener to your taste. Be careful not to over-sweeten the drink, or it won't be as crisp and cooling.


Ingredients

3 large English cucumbers
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (chilled)
2 1/2 cups seltzer or sparkling water (chilled)
  Simple syrup, agave nectar or your favorite sweetener (optional, to taste)
  Ice cubes
4 slices cucumber (as garnish)


Directions

Finely grate the cucumbers (there's no need to peel or seed the English variety) into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let them drain for about 1 hour at room temperature (or in the refrigerator if the day is very hot). Using your hands or the back of a spoon, squeeze all of the juice from the grated cucumbers; they should yield approximately 1-3/4 cups of juice. Refrigerate.

Just before serving, combine the cucumber and lemon juices in a pitcher. Add the seltzer water and agave or simple syrup (if using) to taste, and stir to dissolve. Add ice cubes and divide the beverage among 4 glasses. Garnish each serving with a slice of cucumber, if desired. Serve very cold.

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