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Cucumber Cocktail Recipe by Top Chef's Jen Biesty

Happy Hour: The Fiji Facial

Over the weekend, the second annual SF Chefs event took place, and it wasn't just about the food — beer, wine, and cocktails were in full force, too. Case in point: MIX with SF Top Chefs, a happy hour featuring a cocktail shake-off between San Francisco's most memorable Top Chef alums.

Five contenders — Ryan Scott, Jen Biesty, Mattin Nobila, Erik Hopfinger, and Laurine Wickett — made original cocktail recipes that incorporated the use of Fiji Water, a sponsor for the event, and I had the pleasure of guest judging the competition. In the end, Top Chef: Chicago's Jen Biesty came out on top with a well-balanced cucumber cocktail.
Jen Biesty named her cocktail The Fiji Facial after being inspired by a famous San Francisco spa. Her zen-like cocktail incorporates health-minded ingredients like ginger juice and organic cane sugar. To score the refreshing recipe — and check out photos from the event — read on.

The Fiji Facial

The Fiji Facial

Jen Biesty Cocktail Recipe for The Fiji Facial

Ingredients

3 mint leaves, plus one extra for garnish
1/2 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1-1/2 ounces cucumber juice (to make juice, purée cucumbers, then strain through a fine chinois)
1-1/2 ounces Square One cucumber vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce ginger juice
Lime wedge, for rim
Coarse salt, for rim
Fiji water shaved ice, for shaking and serving
1 thinly sliced cucumber wheel, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a shaker, muddle three mint leaves with the sugar.
  2. Add next five ingredients into shaker with shaved ice.
  3. Moisten the outer rim of a lowball glass with the lime wedge and dip in a shallow bowl of coarse salt to rim glass.
  4. Shake vigorously and strain over more shaved ice. Garnish with cucumber wheel and mint leaf.

Makes 1 drink.

Top Chef Masters alum — and deejay — Hubert Keller worked the beats.

Mattin Nobila from Top Chef: Las Vegas busy making his twist on the Whiskey Sour.

Top Chef alum Jen Biesty said her cocktail was inspired by the facials at the city's famed Nob Hill Spa.

Jen Biesty shaved ice directly off this ice block, which she cleverly molded to include sponsor Fiji's bottle.

Along with Hubert Keller, Virginia Miller of The Bay Guardian and yours truly were the guest judges.
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