The humble cucumber, a relative of squash, is one of the oldest cultivated vegetables (or rather, like tomatoes and eggplant, botanically a fruit), having been grown for around 4,000 years and probably originating in India. Rouge Tomate’s juice bar exploits the plant’s high water content in an exceptionally refreshing summer cooler, spiked with a little lemonade and dill (vodka optional).
Rouge Tomate’s Cucumber Cooler
1 cucumber, plus one round and two long thin slices for garnish
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz. agave nectar
1 sprig fresh dill
2 oz. seltzer
(1) Peel the cucumber, and cut it into chunks. Place in a blender or food processor, and purée until smooth. (2) Strain the purée through a sieve set over a bowl. In another bowl, combine lime and lemon juices with agave nectar. In a mixing glass, muddle dill, then add 2 ounces cucumber juice and 2 ounces lemon-lime mixture. (If desired, add 2 ounces vodka.) (3) Add ice and shake, then add seltzer. Place long cucumber slices into a highball glass; add shaken ingredients without straining. Garnish the rim with the round slice. Serves 1.