I finally made it to dinner at Downtown Food last weekend at the suggestion of friends. After eating what I can only describe as the best — and most creative — meal out I’ve had in a long time, I have to wonder what took me so long to get there. So, if you get a chance, go.
The restaurant also has an interesting cocktail list, featuring a drink with sake, one with lychee liqueur and three different martinis (not of the sweet variety). I opted for the Farmer’s Martini, a wise choice given my penchant for gin and elderflower liqueur.
I’m guessing the name is a nod to its two farm-fresh ingredients: cucumbers and sage. No matter — this drink is awesome. Gin and cucumbers are meant for each other, but add in lime juice, elderflower cordial and a hint of sage and you’ve got a savoury drink that’s both creative and refreshing. Enjoy!
- 2 oz gin, preferably Hendrick’s
- 2 oz cucumber puree*
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz elderflower cordial
- 2-3 sprigs sage
- 4-6 ice cubes
- Top soda water
- Lime wedge and cucumber slice garnish
In a shaker combine sage cucumbers and ice and muddle to crush sage. Add gin, lime and elderflower cordial. Shake, then strain into a martini glass. Top with soda water to taste. Garnish with a lime wedge and cucumber slice. (Drink should be bright green with flecks of sage and cucumber.)
*Cucumber puree: Using a hand mixer or in a Magic Bullet, pulse cucumbers with a bit of water or lime juice to make a puree.
— Recipe courtesy Darren MacLean, owner and chef, Downtown Food