On a visit to my doctor last year during my annual physical, my blood pressure was somewhat elevated. Under new guidelines at the time, I was on the cusp of needing medication to deal with it. I asked my doctor for a few months to get it under control through exercise and diet changes.
Sitting in that room, I knew the culprit. My once-a-week guilty pleasure was a dirty martini. For those unfamiliar, that’s vodka with a splash of olive juice in the shaker — and I liked mine extra dirty. (I made one of these for a colleague who shall remain nameless to protect his identity, and he could barely drink a sip because it tasted like a mouthful of ocean water.)
I knew that had to go, and sure enough, on my next visit to the doctor my blood pressure was well under control — a combination of weight loss and serious salt reduction beyond that once-a-week martini.
While I was willing to give up those dirty martinis, I still wanted a Saturday night sipper.
During a visit to Beach Road restaurant pre-COVID-19, I got a cucumber martini. I loved its refreshing taste. The secret was clear — fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Since then, it’s become my go-to martini, and it’s simple to make now that I finally have the right tools. For months, I was struggling with a hand squeezer that required slicing the lime in half, putting one half on top and twisting until it seemed I would get carpal tunnel syndrome. (Not good for a writer.)
At Christmas, I was given a generous $100 Lift Certificate, and chose LeRoux. (If you haven’t used Martha’s Vineyard Bank’s Lift Certificate program during the pandemic, you’re missing out. But, I digress.) I purchased a hand-held citrus press, and it’s brought joy to my life. I get more juice out of the fruit, and it doesn’t feel like work.
The fresh lime juice makes all the difference in this simple recipe for a cucumber martini, making it light and delicious.
1 lime, freshly squeezed
2 oz. cucumber vodka (Efen is the best)
½ ounce of simple syrup
Ice, lots and lots of ice
As you’re getting your ingredients out, fill your martini glass with ice. (There’s nothing like a chilled glass.) First squeeze your lime and set aside the juice. Take the ice from the glass and fill your shaker (I sometimes have to drain out a little water); add more if needed. Pour in the vodka, the simple syrup, lime juice, and then shake, shake, shake. Pour into your chilled glass and garnish with a slice of cucumber.