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The Pho


A few months back after a long day of wandering about the city, I popped into Catalyst in Cambridge with some friends. We almost ate there, but the lure of pizza from Area Four across the courtyard was too much to ignore. Still though we stayed at Catalyst for a couple drinks, and when The Pho came into my vision on the drink menu I couldn't resist. Cucumber vodka, lime, basil, cilantro, and sriracha. This sounds like a drink invented for me personally! The drink was so fantastic that I thought about it for weeks afterward, and couldn't wait to try my hand at recreating it. I think I nailed it on flavor alone, but the color was totally off. That's probably because they use cucumber flavored vodka but I used actual cucumber.

First up, blend the cucumbers with some lime juice and honey.

Strain out the delicious cucumber juice, and press as much juice as you can out of the pulp. If you have a juicer I suppose you could go that route.

In the shaker, some basil goes first, then ice. If you want to use cilantro like they do, you could go ahead and add it at this point too.

Cucumber juice goes in next.

Followed by sriracha.

I loved this drink.

I couldn't tell how exactly close it was to the one at catalyst, because it had been a few months since and also been a few drinks when I had it. Either way, you could taste all the elements of the drink and despite the muddy green color, it was a tasty beverage.

In a food processor, blend a cucumber with juice from one line, a tablespoon of honey, and a sprinkle of salt. Pour into a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Allow to strain for 5 to 10 minutes, then pick up the cheesecloth and press the cucumber pulp to squeeze out as much juice as you can.

In a shaker, mix 5 large leaves of basil, ice, 3 shots of the cucumber mixture, 2 shots of vodka, juice of one lime, and a splash of sriracha. Shake really well and pour into chilled glasses to serve.


I only wish I had thought of that first. It makes me think of those Prometheus Springs drinks--they're pretty spicy and super refreshing. Awesome find and props for recreating it for all of us.

Cucumber vodka was my favorite discovery of 2011. So refreshing!

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