With Christmas just around the corner, our house has been turned into a hive of food based activity. This is somewhat hampered by the fact that we are still minus a hob (though we do have a fridge, whoop whoop!!)
Drinks and cocktail making is an important part of this, especially as the stress of decorating the house often requires a small nighttime alcoholic indulgence....
Running my coffee business means that I am always interested in new and innovative drinks products. There seems to be a real renaissance in the sparkling drinks market at the moment, with lots of new, British made, products being released.
I actually came across Qcumber at the Farm Shop and Deli show earlier on this year and took away a sample bottle, this most certainly ended up in a G&T during the summer. It provided a refreshing alternative to a standard tonic, with a crisp and delicate taste.
Upon further research, I discovered that it is a blended soft drink with natural cucumber essence and naturally sparkling spring water. Importantly for me, there are no artificial sweeteners, as I am really making the effort to cut these out of my diet completely.
After experiencing the drink at the FS&D show, I certainly saw the value in Qcumber as a summertime mixer. I was therefore very intrigued when Qcumber contacted me with the challenge of making a winter cocktail.
I decided that I would go down the route of partnering it with Pimm's Winter Cup No.3, as this has spice and citrus notes that would compliment cucumber well.
After some initial testing, I became certain that next best step would be to add to the citrus overtones and ended up deciding that lime was definitely the way to go.
I'm personally a huge fan of the combination of raspberry and lime, (FYI they make an excellent fruit salad combo) so naturally this also had to be incorporated! The result it a deliciously light and sharp cocktail, which also retains a sweetness and winter hint.
Winter Berry Smash Qcumber Cocktail Recipe
This recipe is for individual drinks, double or triple for extra guests! The ratio is approximately 1:3 of Pimms to Qcumber
50ml Pimm's Winter Cup No.3 (Double shot)
Dash of Lime Juice
Twist of Lime
Chill your glasses beforehand, as this will help keep your drink pleasantly cold.
To start the cocktail, gently crush the raspberries into the bottom of each class and add a dash of lime juice (1 tsp for those who like accurate measurements! Though please feel free to adjust to taste)
Pour over the Pimms and then top up the cocktail with Qcumber.
Finish with the twist of lime
I was actually surprised by how well the cucumber worked, it was surprisingly vibrant and didn't get lost in the melange of more acidic ingredients which gave bite to the drink.
The cocktails were very much the perfect antidote to a day of decorating and general DIY and certainly will come out again come Christmas/Boxing Day!
A second batch were even requested to compliment an evening work session.
Qcumber is available in 2 useful sized bottles - 330ml (RRP £1.49) and 750ml (RRP: £2.39) and can be found in Tesco, Booths, Ocado, Harrods and leading health stores.
*I was sent a hamper which included Qcumber and Pimms for the purposes of creating a cocktail and reviewing the drink. As always, all opinions are based on my own honest experience of the products. For more information on my disclaimer policy, please see my page detailing my disclaimers policy.