Thus spake Jeff in defense of buying two bottles of sake.  We couldn’t decide on dry or unfiltered for cucumber sake sorbet.

Situations like these are our daily fare.  One of us stumbles upon a recipe, concept or craving.  We bat it around in a loose cost-benefit analysis over a few days.  Then we execute our delicious plan.  The most recent was inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ release of the aforementioned flavor.  However, we live in Chicago.  Jeni’s is an institution of Columbus, OH.  Cucumber sake sorbet called to me across the ether.  Memories of her other mouth-gasm inducing offerings sealed the deal.  I must have it.

As a couple, our approaches vary.  Jeff – the hedonistic tech geek – immediately researched how to have Jeni’s shipped to Chicago.  I – the domestic vixen and pre-fab cynic – looked for ways to make it at home.  Together, we’ve sated our need for frozen cukes and rice wine, as well as procured nine pints (that’s right – nine pints, bitches!) of Jeni’s for home consumption.

The result?  Our sorbet was spot on with the flavor profile of Jeni’s.  However, we lack an ice cream maker and are not allowed to get one until we organize the butler pantry. The texture was more granita icy than smooth sorbet.  Regardless, it was another glorious kitchen mess in the way that we do.

Cucumber Sake Sorbet (as per Ally’n’Jeff, not Jeni’s proprietary highly super secret recipe)

4 cups of cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped

10 tblsp of dry sake

2/3 cup of sugar

(1) Pick your cukes with extra loving care.  They must be pert and crisp.  You don’t want some ratchety old cuke bittering up your sorbet.  A good way to test: lightly press your thumbnail into the skin.  You have a winner if it breaks through quickly and with a slight snap.

(2) Peel and seed cukes.  How to seed?  Slice it in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Chop up with favorite knife.

(3) Whiz that shit around in a blender or food processor with the sake and the sugar until smooth.  I used “mother’s little helper;” the strangely dildo-esque hand blender gifted by my mother after my first marriage. I would recommend wearing an apron at this point, since the mixture spurted all over me, the walls, the floor, the cats due to a lack of cover.

(4) Schlep it into a 9×13 pan – glass or metal.  Place in freezer.  Break up ice crystals with fork every hour for at least 4 hours.  When ready to serve, fluff it up by raking the fork across the top like those Zen rock gardens.  Put in bowls, coffee cups or Japanese-style tea cups.

“Four hours!?” you might declare in indignation.  “I don’t have no steenking four hours!”

Well, I do being erratically employed as I am. (god love you, Chicago.  stay classy.)  Working stiffs who don’t want to stay up late can do this on the weekend.  To make the time go faster, I recommend a saketini or two.


Dry sake



(1) Please find yourself a decent sake within your price range.  The $7.99 bottle of samurai war-fuel that most gaijin groceries carry – a personal summer fave during grad school – is just fine, but this cocktail is truly exquisite with a better one.  Jeff is the house sake master and continually expands my horizons while killing my liver with his glorious finds.  I think it’s because I told him I was a sake whore at one point.

(2) Put said sake in a shaker with 4-6 slices of peeled and seeded cuke and a lot of ice.  Is your martini shaker occupied by cremated cat remains?  No funds or motivation to get another? A large glass jar with a lid works too.  Shake it, baby, shake it until you get a bit of frost on the outside.

(3) Strain into a chilled martini glass.  Rub the rim with a slice of cucumber, plop it in the drink.  Imbibe on a muggy summer night with the company of your choice.

*Note:  Ally’n’Jeff, LLC are not responsible for any relationship damage that may occur due to heated debates about the mafia’s contribution or lack thereof to our current post-9/11 recession times.  Also?  Don’t drink and drive, asshole.  That’s what CTA cards are for.