A crisp and refreshing beverage to get you through the hottest time of the year.
In a 3qt saucepan, stir together the water and granulated sugar*. Bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once the liquid begins to boil, remove it from the stove and add the fresh mint leaves to the pot.
Allow the mint to steep in the hot syrup until the liquid cools completely. Strain the leaves from the syrup once cool.
Store the simple syrup in a glass bottle (or mason jar) in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Use this simple syrup to sweeten this, or any other beverage.
Add the cucumber chunks to your blender and puree them until smooth.
Pour the cucumber pulp into a piece of cheesecloth, or a clean tea towel, set inside a bowl (or a colander set inside of a bowl). Gather up the ends of the cloth and twist the bundle to extract as much of the cucumber water as possible.
Set the cucumber water aside and discard the remaining pulp and seeds.
In a large pitcher stir together the cucumber water, lime juice, and cold water. Stir in a cup of the mint simple syrup and taste for sweetness. Add more simple syrup if desired.
Fill large glasses with ice and pour the cucumber lime agua fresca over to serve.
Garnish each glass with cucumber or lime slices, or fresh sprigs of mint.
Store the mixed juice in the refrigerator.
*If you prefer a less-sweet juice, use 1 cup (each) of water and sugar. For a sweeter juice, use 1 1/2 cups of each.
To make this an adult cocktail, add an ounce (or two) of gin to the glass and stir well to combine. Enjoy responsibly.
If the pulp settles at the bottom of your pitcher, simply give the drink a quick stir before serving.
Add ice to the pitcher to water it down if you find that the juice is too flavorful (as if that's really a thing).
If you choose to garnish your pitcher of juice with cucumber and lime slices, don't leave the slices in the cucumber lime agua fresca for long periods of time as the juice will take on the bitter flavors of the peels.
Serve this drink within 72 hours after making it for optimum freshness.