Scooped: Gin, Tonic, and Cucumber Shaved Ice Recipe

Scooped: Gin, Tonic, and Cucumber Shaved Ice Recipe

[Photograph: jlastras on Flickr]

I've been up to my eyeballs in finals the last few weeks, and have turned to therapy to get me through. Not Freudian psychoanalysis, though—food (and a little alcohol) is my therapy of choice.

After a stressful week, you can't really beat a good old gin and tonic for a little refreshment and relaxation. How, I wondered, could we make a gin and tonic even more refreshing? The answer, of course: freeze it, scrape it, and eat it like a snow cone. The alcohol and sugar in the mixture keep it soft and scrape-able, even when its frozen solid. The texture is incredibly light and fluffy, and the taste sweet and herbal, with a refreshing grassy-ness from the cucumber.

A couple of these and you'll have no trouble relaxing.

Ethan Frisch is the chef and co-mastermind behind Guerrilla Ice Cream. He's traveled around the world (30 countries, 5 continents) and worked as a pastry chef and line cook in some of NYC's great (and not so great) restaurants. He currently lives in London, where he really misses New York City tap water.

Max Falkowitz writes Serious Eats' weekly Spice Hunting column. He's a proud native of Queens, New York, will do just about anything for a good cup of tea, and enjoys long walks down the aisles of Chinese groceries.You can follow his ramblings on Twitter.

  • Yield:makes 1 quart
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:4 hours


  • 3 1/2 cups tonic water
  • 1/2 cup good gin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2-3 inch piece of cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. 1.

    In a blender or food processor, purée the all the ingredients except the gin. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into a shallow container, add the gin, and mix.

  2. 2.

    Place the container in the freezer for about 4-6 hours, or until frozen. Using a metal spoon, scrape the block of ice towards you, and scoop the shavings into a bowl. Garnish with fresh lime zest and some mint.