Cucumber Melon Agua Fresca

The cucurbitaceae family reunion is full of all types. The sturdy, steadfast grown-ups of the group are the pumpkins and winter squash. They’re hardworking and seasoned; intimidating at first, but rosy and sweet once you get past their tough exteriors. The gourds, bulbous and freckled, are eccentric great aunts, strange and special. Visiting from Mexico, chayote cousins socialize with zucchini and summer squash along with the baby pattypans. Nobody knows quite what to make of those strange in-laws, the luffas.

Every year, the melons are the life of the party. They’re always first to crack open the vodka or oil up for a dip in the pool. Big, eager, and syrupy sweet, they’re all juice and spitting seeds and sticky cheeks. Cucumbers, the sullen teenagers of the family, find them eye-rollingly chummy. Cukes are aloof and reserved, with a faint note of bitter superiority.

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Bluecoat Cucumber Martini With Pickled Mexican Gherkins

Mexican GherkinsThere’s a reason that the gin and tonic is the official drink of summer. The woodsy, herbaceous flavor of gin, woken up with a hit of citrus and a splash of bubbles, is about as much work as one can do when Philly feels as humid as an aquarium. If you’re feeling up for something a bit fancier, however, this cucumber martini is just as cooling.

Bluecoat American gin, made right here by Philadelphia Distilling, is citrusy enough to balance the mild bitterness of muddled cucumber, and both compliment the botanical character of dry vermouth.

If you can manage turning on the stove for a few minutes, take the extra step and make Pickled Mexican Gherkins the day before. Tasty on their own, they add a briny crunch to the martini and besides, they trounce olives on cuteness.

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