Remember how I said it gets hot in Texas?? Sweltering even? Well, such cruel temperatures always start the resourceful wheels in my mind turning toward figuring out how to stay cool and clean. Cool and clean. Cool and clean. Even just typing those words together feels good. Those simple words also happen to describe That Perfect Summer Drink, which I made for the first time last summer. One day last summer, I purchased some fancy schmancy 16 oz fruit essence water at the local gourmet market -- no sugar, just fruit essence infused into the water. I tried the one with cucumber essence and fell in love with how clean, light, and refreshing it was. I was not, however, so enamored with the high price -- maybe it was two or three bucks. Too much for a single serving of water, to be sure. I won't be paying that again. Especially when water is free (or at least already paid for via my monthly payment to the city of Dallas for my running water), and fruit is also readily available fairly inexpensively any local supermarket. And it's so very simple to make That Perfect Summer Drink. (1) Fill a pitcher with tap or filtered water - whichever you prefer; (2) Slice up a whole cucumber; (3) Put the cucumber slices in the pitcher; (4) Refrigerate; (5) Once cold, drink lovingly (leaving the cucumber slices themselves in the pitcher). I tell you, this is the stuff you want on a really hot day. After I have made it through about 1/2 of the pitcher (which I leave in the fridge), I add more water. Depending on how quickly you down it, the same cucumber slices can be used multiple times. Keep adding water to be infused until you think the cucumber has surpassed its potential. Cheap. Easy. Most importantly -- cool and clean.
The plastic tupperware pitcher I use is not terribly photogenic, so I googled cucumber water just now to find a photo to use here, and, not shockingly, I'm not the first to come up with this idea. Here's a photo of some pretty grand looking cucumber water. Yours will taste as good as this looks, even if it's concocted in a cheap plastic pitcher like mine.