Once upon a time, when I was single, with no dependents, fancy free and super-messy, I had more time to join blog events. I loved blog events! They were a chance to connect with other like-minded individuals, discover new food blogs, and find inspiration and encouragement. To this day I’d be hard-pressed to find a friendlier or more positive online atmosphere.
Now I am happily married, the blissful parent of onehungry dependent, just-slightly-messy, and fancy free only part of the time. And blog events, sadly, have slipped to the back burner. I still explore, when I can, the posts and round ups of my old favorites. One such favorite, if not the favorite, was/is Hay Hay It’s Donna Day…HHDD for short.
Started by the lovely Barbara of Winoes and Foodies, I was immediately drawn to it. How could I not be? My ardent love for DonnaHay is evident in my table, my bookshelves, and the frankly embarrassing way I can go on and on about her to people I just met. So when Barbara called for an HHDD round to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of Donna Hay Magazine (of which I am a loyal subscriber) with a round of festive drinks I was definitely joining in!
Cucumber Dayap (Lime) Cooler
(inspired by the drinks in the 10th year anniversary edition of Donna Hay magazine)
- 3/4 cup dayap juice (or lime juice)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, split in two lengthways
- 3 slices of ginger, each about the size of a 5-peso coin
- 1 cucumber per person
- ice cubes
- First make the syrup: heat the dayap or lime juice, sugar, lemongrass, and ginger in a saucepan, stirring until all the sugar is melted. Bring to a boil and let this bubble for about 2 minutes until the syrup is slightly thickened. Strain and set aside.
- Peel the cucumber and remove all the seeds. Place in a blender with a generous scoop of ice cubes. Blend until the ice is crushed. Add a tablespoon or two of the syrup and blend again. Taste and adjust to your liking – more syrup if you’d like it sweeter more ice if you’d like it milder.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Dayap is our local version of a lime, not to be confused with calamansi, which, although delicious in its own, is not the same thing. For me, dayap leans more towards the lime end of the spectrum while calamansi vacillates between lemon-lime. I love dayap, which I feel is more bracingly flavored than calamansi (though I love calamansi too...our local citrus rocks!). It is also less available, so when I see it in the markets I snatch it up. Feel free to use calamansi here as well, or limes if your outside my shores.
This works miracles on a hot, humid day when you are stuck at home working and too cheap to turn on the A/C. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but you never know, I’m not spilling any beans. In any case, this is cool, zesty, and refreshing whether you live in the middle of a hot city with skyrocketing electricity costs or not.
Since I just made one glass for myself, I had a lot of the syrup leftover. That is by no means a bad thing! You can store the extra syrup in your fridge for 2-3 days and use it to make all sorts of libations. Here are just a few suggestions: You can put a few spoonfuls in a glass of ice-cold water, add to soda water to make your own lime soda with a twist, or add it to some vodka on ice…I’m sure it would also be good brushed atop a hot-out-of-the-oven pound cake. So don’t you worry if you’ve got extra.