Stage and screen actress Jacqueline Knapp recently appeared beside Al Pacino and John Goodman in the television movie “You Don’t Know Jack” about the life of Jack Kevorkian. She’s headlined in the Broadway production of Dancing At Lughnasa. The soap of soaps, “All My Children,” gave her Texas ranch-woman character five episodes of plot-line. Knapp is also the Associate Artistic Director of The Actor’s Studio, and sits on its Board of Directors.
Most relevant here, she summers in a Folly Cove cottage neighboring mine that her great aunt purchased years ago, and has been the family retreat for three generations. Jacqueline always brings her Manhattan electricity when neighbors meet on The Howlet’s stone porch for cocktails, but a recent warm July evening, she and her partner, Skip Curley, cooled our crew with Saketinis: icy cold Hendrick’s Gin and Sake floating a fresh slice of cucumber.
Cool, round and earthy, the drink was like cold stones and freshly cut grass. A sip was like the steel blade of a knife slicing a freshly picked cucumber.
Fishermen say that when bluefish are in the middle of a feeding frenzy the fresh scent of cucumbers rises off the sea water. I’m not going to say why because the explanation is not pretty but this is a real phenomenon.
In a Saketini, I don’t think there is a drink that so perfectly compliments a steamy night on Cape Ann, the apple tree utterly still except for a branch rustled by plump robins settling into sleep, the bluefish dark and quiet beneath the cold waters of Folly Cove at our feet.
Because everything should be easy on a Thursday night in the summer, Jacqueline served our Saketinis in shallow glass ramekins; save the stem glasses for the holiday parties.
Saketini, Jacqueline Knapp-style
3 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 ounce Sake
one slice of cucumber
Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and stir will. Strain into a shallow glass ramekin. Float a cucumber slice.