I discovered the delight of cucumber juice when I drained cucumber for tzatziki. It has a lovely mellow cucumber flavour and is insanely refreshing. And then I saw this recipe. Combining cucumber juice with lemon juice and sugar seemed a bit weird, but I wanted to give it a try and was glad I did: it is delicious! Cucumbery, tart, sweet and incredibly refreshing, so perfect for hot weather.
You can play around a bit with how much water and sugar you add. I like to use less water, so I can finish the lemonade with a generous glug of sparkly water.
I also adapted the process a bit. The original recipe asks you to blend the cucumber to a very fine pulp. This gives you a lot of juice, but also forced you to throw away the pulp. I chose to grate the cucumber, which still gave me enough juice, but also cucumber gratings that I could use for tzatziki. If you leave the skin on your lemonade will be quite green, if you peel the cucumber first, it will get more pale green.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup cucumber juice (from about 450 g cucumber, peeled or unpeeled)
1 cup lemon juice (from about 7-8 lemons)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
Grate the cucumber. Transfer the gratings to a sieve over a bowl and leave to drain. Use a spoon to press out as much of the juice as you can. Use the solids for tzatziki.
Pour into a bottle and add the lemon juice, sugar and water. Give it a shake, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool. A few more shakes should dissolve the sugar completely.
Serve with or without ice/sparkly water. And if you feel fancy, garnish with a thin slice of cucumber, a lemon peel curl or a few borage flowers.