Es timun serut (cucumber and lime juice) is a very popular drink in Indonesia. Unlike most fruit juice in Indonesia, this doesn’t require a blender to prepare, making it very accessible even for newbies and those with limited kitchen gadgets.
This drink is especially popular during the fasting month of Ramadhan. Although our family is not Muslims, we regularly prepare this drink too. The refreshing taste of cucumber and lime is so welcoming to quench the thirst during hot days.
Feel free to use any slicing cucumber to make this drink. Slicing cucumbers are the most common type of cucumber, and any grocery store that sells cucumbers should have these.
In Indonesia, lime is more common compared to lemon. If you wish, you can also use lemon instead of lime.
3. Simple syrup
We sweeten this drink with simple syrup, which is a 1:1 mix of sugar and water. To make it more flavorful, I will add a handful of fresh mint leaves to the simple syrup.
You can also use pandan leaves to prepare the simple syrup instead of mint leaves. You end up with a different flavor for the cucumber and lime juice, but both versions are equally delicious.
You can also choose to use bottled melon syrup to sweeten the drink instead of preparing simple syrup.
4. Chia seeds
It is more common to use basil seeds (Indonesian: biji selasih) instead of chia seeds. But in the US, you can buy chia seeds in almost any grocery store while you can only get basil seeds in some Asian market.
Cook water, sugar, and mint in a small saucepot until boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat, and cover the saucepot with a lid. Rest for 30 minutes, then strain to get a clear syrup.
You can also prepare the syrup with pandan leaves instead of mint. Tie pandan leaves into a knot so they will be easy to remove.
While the simple syrup is steeping, it is time to prepare the rest of the ingredients for the cucumber and lime juice.
1. Grate cucumber
Feel free to peel the cucumbers first before grating. Then, shred the cucumbers with a box grater.
2. Juice lime
Use a juicer to press the juice from fresh limes. There is no need to remove the pulp, but be sure to remove any seeds from the lime juice.
3. Soak chia seeds
Soak two tablespoons of chia seeds with a cup of drinking water. Stir and set aside to let the seeds expand and soak up all the water.
Once everything is ready, combine grated cucumber, lime juice, soaked chia seeds, and mint (or pandan) simple syrup.
To serve, fill half a glass with the cucumber and lime mixture. Then top the remaining half of glass with ice-cold water, club soda (soda water), and ice cubes. Stir to mix the drink.
You can garnish the glass with a slice of lime to make it pretty.
If you own a blender instead of a box grater, you can prepare this drink even easier using a blender.
Peel and chop the cucumbers and place it in a blender along with lime juice and simple syrup. Blend into a smooth puree.
Fill half a glass with blended cucumber puree. Add about two tablespoons of soaked chia seeds to each glass. Then top the remaining half of glass with ice-cold water or club soda (soda water) and ice cubes. Stir to mix the drink.