Philacatessen | Philly Special in a Glass

Philly Special Photos by Keri White

As the Eagles enter the playoffs, we fans are doing our part to support the team as best we can. To that end, I created a drink called the Philly Special to sip (or gulp) as the season moves to its most critical moments.

Of course, the quaff is green in color, and has a refreshing blend of ingredients that will keep you feeling strong as you cheer the birds on to victory. This version is rather light — for games are often during the day and I need to remain coherent and vertical regardless of the outcome. If that is not your preference, feel free to spike the mixture with more tequila.

I pressed my own cucumber juice with a blender and a strainer, but if you need a larger quantity, you can order from Iovine’s Produce in Reading Terminal Market, and juiceries are sprouting up all over the area; I am sure a willing presser can be found regardless of where you will be watching the game.

I have even spotted fresh bottled juices in my local grocery store — any light, green blend is an appropriate substitute, though I would avoid kale juice, which has a rather strong taste.

Cucumber Puree

Depending on the sweetness of your limeade and your personal preference, you may want to add the syrup. Taste the drink first, then decide. You can garnish this with a fresh, peeled cucumber slice, a lime wedge or a sliced jalapeno, if desired.

Philly Special

Makes one quart

4 cucumbers or 1½ cups cucumber juice

1½ cups limeade

⅔ cup white tequila

¼ cup agave syrup or simple syrup, to taste (see below for recipe)

  1. Make cucumber juice: Peel the cucumbers and cut them into large chunks. Place in the blender until pureed. Pour the puree into a strainer placed over a bowl and gently stir and press on it until the juice lands in the bowl. It should make about 1½ cups.
  2. In a pitcher or cocktail shaker, mix all the ingredients well and serve over ice. Garnish as desired.

To make syrup:

⅓ cup sugar or agave

⅔ cup water

Bring the ingredients to a low simmer in a small saucepan. Cook until the sugar is dissolved or the agave is melted, about 2 minutes. The syrup should be a uniform texture.


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