I can’t believe it, but tomorrow is Labor Day. This summer was a non-summer, what with all the rain and cold days. Then again, there have been some gorgeous weekends recently, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.
Doesn’t change the fact that the summer is over. I can hear the Friday night fireworks at Coney Island from my house and this past Friday was the last one of the season. When I hear that final, cacophonous thunder that marks the end of not only of the week’s display but of the summer’s, it always makes me a little sad.
But Americans do not go gently into that goodbye of summer. Labor Day means picnics, barbecues, beach parties, and lots of food and fun. And I have just the cocktail to go with it all. It makes use of summer goodies, like cucumber, mango, and mint, but it makes a great cocktail for the coming holidays, too. And because cucumber and mint are also considered a restorative and a digestive, respectively, it makes a great after-dinner cocktail for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Cucumber Mango Mint Shooter
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 mango, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup melon liqueur
4 mint sprigs (optional)
1. Place cucumber, mango, mint, maple syrup, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Process until fully pureed.
2. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour mixture into strainer and let it drip through. Press down on pulp with a rubber spatula to strain as much liquid out as possible. Whisk in liqueur.
3. Pour into shot glasses, top with mint sprig, and serve.