Cucumber Fennel Digestiv Cooler

This is the perfect refreshing sipper after an indulgent meal when you’re feeling heavy and full.  You know what I mean- indigestion, possible bloating or flatulence (cue the Pepto Bismal jingle).  As in,  “This meal isn’t going anywhere any time fast.”  It incorporates both aromatics AND bitters, which encourage and support digestion in different ways.  Aromatics are herbs that have a high concentration of volatile oils (essential oils) whose nature is to disperse, expand, or in other words, get things moving.  These help to dispel gas, reduce cramping, and reduce bloat by relaxing the smooth muscle tissue of the GI tract and encouraging peristalsis.  Bitters, on the other hand, have the unique ability to stimulate the gallbladder, which then produces bile allowing for much better digestion of fats and absorption of nutrients.

Wild Taproot’s NeoClassic Bitters, a balanced riff on classic bitters recipes, and Wild Taproot’s Better Belly, a blend of three aromatic allstars- fennel, chamomile, and catnip- are herbal stars of this recipe that are going to make it a super effective digestiv.

Cooking Notes: 

To start, you should know that the smaller pickling cucumbers have much more flavor than your run of the mill, larger slicer cucumbers.  So seek those out if you can!  Also, while you can use tonic water, I found it’s botanical flavors competed with those introduced with the tinctures and made it too sweet.  There is already glycerin in Better Belly, so it should be sweet enough.  If your limes aren’t at all juicy, use more to taste.  


Cucumber Fennel Digestiv Cooler

(makes 1 cooler)

  • 1 lengthwise slice of pickling cucumber, scored at its bottom
  • 1 wedge of lime
  • 7 drops of Wild Taproot’s NeoClassic Bitters, or to taste
  • 10 dropperfuls of Wild Taproot’s Better Belly (each dropperful is equivalent to 1ml or 40 drops of tincture)
  • 4 oz club soda
  • 7 cubes of ice
  • sprig of mint
  • pinch of salt


To begin, slice the cucumber lengthwise to create four spears.  Score the bottoms of the front and back of each spear to release more of the cucumber’s flavor.  Next roll the lime firmly with your palm on the counter.  Once it has become softer (think of the give of a ripe tomato) slice it into wedges.  Next fill your glass with 7 ice cubes and pour in 1/2 cup of club soda.  Stick one of the cucumber spears, scored side down, into the glass and give it a stir.  Next, squeeze the juice of one lime wedge into the soda water.  If your limes are not all that juicy, put in another or even three, to taste.

Now reach for your tinctures.  Add 10 droppersful (that’s 40 drops or one milliliter per dropperful) of Better Belly.  Now add 7 single drops of NeoClassic Bitters and a small pinch of salt and you’re golden.  Swizzle the cucumber around to mix it thoroughly and top with a decent sized sprig of mint.


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