Cucumber Chile Martini
We call cucumber, pepino. This cucumber chile martini draws upon two Mexican flavor traditions. The first is adding chile to pepino, a combination of freshness and piquant that is gorgeous. The second tradition is making sweets that combine chiles with various fruits.
In this “Cucumber Chile Martini” I combine Chile De Arbol with the sweetness of Elderberry flower liqueur. Elderberries (aka Mexican Elderberry, Sambucus mexicana, Sambucus neomexicana) are native to North America and abound in Texas and northern Mexico. Our native ancestors used the medicinal properties of Elderberries for sores, bruises, as a skin conditioner and to fight colds, fevers and rheumatism. (1)
I think you’ll really enjoy the taste of sweetened elderberry flowers with chile. The backdrop is cucumber freshness. I use Chile De Arbol because it livens up the drink without adding strong flavor.
Cucumber Chile Martini Recipe (makes one cocktail)
2 Tbs cucumber, peeled, cut into small dice
1/4 tsp dried Chile De Arbol, seeds included
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Elderberry Flower liqueur
1 tsp fresh Mexican lime juice (key limes)
Ice as needed
A mixture of ground black pepper and salt to garnish the rim of the martini glass: 3 parts black pepper to 1 part salt
1. Coat the outer rim, not the inside, of a martini glass with lime juice and then dip it into the mixture of black pepper and salt. Set aside, preferably in the fridge.
2. In a cocktail shaker, add the cucumber and chile and muddle, then add the vodka, liqeur and lime juice. Add ice, cover and shake vigorously.
3. Pour into the prepared, chilled martini glass.
- Charlebois, D. (2007, October). Elderberry as a medicinal plant. Issues in new crops and new uses proceedings of the sixth national symposium creating markets for economic development of new crops and new uses, San Diego. Retrieved from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu07/v6-toc.html