The Sea Cucumber Cocktail from the Velvet Dog and Drinking Made Easy in Kansas City

A friend of mine is a fan of the HDnet show called Drinking Made Easy. He has even recorded a few shows for me to watch. Well, he told me about this week’s episode in Kansas City where they go to the Velvet Dog in Kansas City’s Martini Corner and drink a Sea Cucumber. My friend and I both love cucumber, so we had to try it. The recipe on the website is a bit vague, so I standardized it:

The Sea Cucumber Cocktail: gin, lime, cucumber, syrup
The Sea Cucumber: Gin, lime, cucumber, syrup
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/4 peeled and quartered cucumber
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • fill with tonic water

Here’s what you do: put the muddled cucumber in the bottom of a mixing glass and muddle it with the lime juice. Then add the simple syrup and gin, fill with ice, and shake well. Then strain into an old fashioned glass of ice, fill the rest (which isn’t much, don’t worry) with tonic water, and garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.

It makes a complex drink that is not easily categorized. Why? Because of the cucumber, of course. I’m a fan of the Gimlet, and I like it with a cucumber, but the cucumber just makes for an interesting aromatic sidenote in that nearly perfect drink. Here, in the Sea Cucumber cocktail, the cucumber is more integral. But muddling does something weird: it releases the bitter juices from the cucumber and leaves the sweet flesh behind. Interesting indeed.

Just read a cucumber salad recipe and many of them call to salt and drain cucumbers like you do eggplant. The liquid in these vegetables is bitter. Sure, the cucumber less so than eggplant, but still, you don’t want to drink the liquid.

Here, you do exactly that. You drink it. But you mix it with a sour first (lime juice), and then you add sweetness back to it. It works. A fine drink for when cucumbers are in season, if I do say so myself. It’s refreshing and sweet and bitter, with almost a hint of salt (I don’t know why…).

Definitely a drink worth making.

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