This fruity gin-based Beauty Elixir cocktail gets added freshness from cucumber. It's perfect for spring and summer!
One of my favorite things about dining out with friends is enjoying delicious craft cocktails. The nicer the restaurant, the nicer the cocktails typically are. It feels like a work of art trying some of these wonderful drinks, and I enjoy creating them at home as well when the opportunity arises.
One of the signature cocktails at Beauty & Essex (in New York City, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles) is the Beauty Elixir.
At Beauty & Essex, the cocktail starts out with muddled cucumber and strawberry puree. The combo is shaken over ice with Hendricks gin, lemon juice, and lemon simple syrup. It's strained into a cocktail glass (the restaurant uses a coupe cocktail glass) and topped off with rosé sparkling wine, and garnished with a cucumber slice.
Lucky for us, the recipe for Beauty Elixir is available in Chris Santos's cookbook Share. This drink reminds me of one you would get at a spa (if you were hypothetically drinking alcohol at a spa). It's also a more unique option for brunch than a mimosa or bellini. It's also excellent before, during, and after dinner.
Light and fruity, with a hint of sweetness from the strawberries, tartness from the lemon, effervescence from the sparkling wine, strength from the gin, and an herbaceous touch from the cucumber, this cocktail has it all.
My cocktail glasses are perhaps a touch larger than most, so I can fit more drink into them. I made the recipe below following the "party-sized" instructions, and yielded 1 ¼ cups liquid before shaking and topping with sparkling wine.
This divides up to exactly 5 tablespoons per 4 cocktails, but I was a bit more generous with mine (a very generous ⅓ cup) and yielded 3 cocktails instead of 4 (with plenty of room to top off with sparkling wine).
Either way, this is a fun, fresh, fruity cocktail with an unexpected twist from the cucumber. Considering the fact that a bottle of sparkling wine only stays bubbly for so long before going flat, it would make sense to shake up this cocktail for a small crowd unless you have stocked up on those tiny, single-size champagne bottles.
Other recipes you may like
- Prickly Pear Margarita
- Guava Margarita
- Hibiscus Margarita
- Tamarind Margarita
- Fleming's Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini
- Painkiller Cocktail
- Cranberry Daiquiri
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Lemon Simple Syrup:
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 (¼-inch) slices Kirby cucumber, unpeeled, plus more for garnish
- ¾ ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) strawberry puree (see note)
- 1 ½ ounces London dry gin
- ¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ½ ounce lemon simple syrup
- ½ ounce rosé sparkling wine or champagne as needed
- To make Lemon Simple Syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Let cool. (The syrup can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.) Makes about 4 ounces (½ cup).
- To make Beauty Elixir: Muddle the cucumber and strawberry puree well in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and gin, lemon juice, and lemon syrup; shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with a cucumber slice and serve.
- Party-Sized Beauty Elixir: Pulse 8 slices cucumber and 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) strawberry puree in a blender to mince them. Add 6 ounces (¾ cup) gin, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice, and 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lemon syrup and pulse just to combine. Strain the gin mixture through a wire sieve into a small pitcher. (The mixture can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 hours.) For each drink, pour about 3 ounces (a generous ⅓ cup) into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass, top with the sparkling wine, and garnish with a cucumber slice. Makes 4 cocktails.
- To make strawberry puree, process hulled strawberries as needed (3 large strawberries make about 1 ½ tablespoons puree) in a mini-food processor until smooth.
- Adapted from Share
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*