Monday, July 25, 2011

Apple, Mint & Cucumber Cooler

Apple, Mint & Cucumber Cooler a3-w

"If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain..."

Pina Coladas - check. 
Getting caught in the rain - not so much. 

The no alcohol ban is pretty much out in full force at the moment - well except for the occasional sip of TheHusband's home brews here and there (hey, a girl's gotta be supportive, right?). And so far it's not been bad at all really. Except for cocktails. Man do I miss those quirkily garnished fruity concoctions, poured over crushed ice and presented in a tall, pretty glass! Mocktails (that's non-alcoholic cocktails for those of you merrily sipping away at your full strength ones) just don't seem to feature in our South African lexicon and so I've been ordering fruit juices when we go out while TheHusband gets to pick and choose off of the wine list. Somewhat of a downer. 

Until we set foot in Primi the other day. The waiter brought out the wine list and I just handed it straight to TheHusband, without a second glance either. Such a pity too, because the weather was practically begging all and sundry to sip on a glass filled with something a bit more interesting than juice or water. Pools of sunlight, green stretches of lawn (well, driving range grass) and you almost forgot you were smackbang in the middle of July in Cape Town. 

BUT! It was my lucky day. I practically squealed with delight when my darling husband pointed out the list - yes LIST - of mocktails on offer. Not just one or two sad imitations either, but a proper list of mouthwatering concoctions, for me to pick and choose from. Should I go for a faux-jito (I'm a sucker for the real thing after all) or a Red iced tea based delight? In the end, the apple, mint and cucumber cooler was crowned the winner. In every sense of the word. Perfectly balanced flavours - the clean grassy taste of apple and cucumber with just a hint of mint - paired with a pretty garnish made for the perfect mocktail. And I swear, I didn't even miss the alcohol. 

Apple, Mint & Cucumber Cooler c2-w

Apple, Mint & Cucumber Cooler
A Creative Pot original, inspired by Primi Piatti
Makes +/- 850 ml (3 1/2 cups)

My rendition of the mocktail that took my breath away. No more boring orange juice for me! 

5 Granny Smith apples
1/2 large cucumber, cut into thirds
handful of mint
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sparkling water
ribbons of cucumber, to garnish (optional)
sprigs of mint, to garnish (optional)

1. Feed apples through the chute of a juicing machine. Repeat with cucumber and mint. 
2. Pour the juice into a pretty jug and add lemon juice and sparkling water, tasting and adjusting as you go. 
3. Serve cold, garnished with ribbons of cucumber threaded onto a swizzle stick and sprigs of mint. 

Will keep refrigerated for a few days.


janice tripepi on July 25, 2011 12:16 pm said...

Ooh - this would go down a treat on a hot summer's day! Trickyricky doesn't like the taste of alcohol - but this, he would love!! yumbo xxxxxx jan

Linda Harding on July 25, 2011 3:12 pm said...

This looks fabulous, M! And so good for you, too!

Anonymous said...

I love how fresh it looks! Yum! This weather is making me dream of cocktails to... Alcohol's a big no no for me at the moment (not for the same reason), so next time I go out for supper with the boy my vote's on Primi!

Juanita on July 25, 2011 5:59 pm said...

I'm a total fan of Primi's virgin mojito (they use real limes...woot!)

Your apple-mint-cucumber cooler reminds me of the breakfasts I drink (sans sparkling water though) in Summer (so psyched it's around the corner!)

nina- My easy cooking on July 25, 2011 7:04 pm said...

Good for you, colors are great and I can't wait to try it. Today However it is tooooo cold!!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets on July 25, 2011 8:09 pm said...

So refreshing! What a great hot weather drink.

The Mother Hybrid on July 25, 2011 9:56 pm said...

I just exercised...and now I read this blogpost. Nothing will do now... NOTHING... not water not the litchi juice in the fridge. Nothing.

Joanne on July 26, 2011 2:56 am said...

I don't really drink much at all and would definitely rather spring for a mocktail than a cocktail! This sounds super refreshing, especially given our insane-o hot weather!

kankana on July 26, 2011 3:50 am said...

Sometimes a mocktail can taste so better than a cocktail ! And this looks pure gorgeous.

Hila on July 26, 2011 8:14 am said...

Primi mocktails are awesome. Also Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson has some amazing mocktails too.

I think a lot of places assume that a good mocktail just means you take out the liquor and don't realise that without the liquor you need to make a good balance of the other flavours. I mean a virgin sex on the beach would juice.

Marisa on July 26, 2011 8:51 am said...

@LadyRaven - that's an excellent point about the virgin cocktails. Many places don't realise this.

Jeanne @ CookSister! on July 27, 2011 9:30 am said...

Oooh - looks wonderful - so fresh. Mocktails are big here in London - SA needs to catch on... And ja, I never quite got that getting caught in the rain part. He was doing so well up until then!

Anonymous said...

The pictures are perfect and I feel like making one right now (whilst it is so cold!!)

Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet on August 02, 2011 1:59 pm said...

Ah, another feature I'm sure SA is lagging behind with is adding calories to the cocktail menu; you get Skinny Cocktails here too! Anyhoo, you're a good girl and only a few months to go then you have a great excuse to get properly pissed. After breastfeeding, of course. ;-)

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