Chef's Recipes

Grilled cucumber and lemon myrtle soda

Gourmet Traveller recipe for grilled cucumber and lemon myrtle soda, Ben Devlin, Paper Daisy

By Ben Devlin
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking (plus cooling and chilling)
  • Serves 4
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Grilled cucumber and lemon myrtle soda
"The best flavour comes from charcoal-grilling the cucumber, but you can also scorch it in a pan or under the grill," says Devlin


  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 14 lemon myrtle leaves
  • 2 large Lebanese cucumbers
  • 500 ml chilled soda water (2 cups)
  • To serve: dried native pepperberries (see note), coarsely ground


  • 1
    Heat a charcoal barbecue or gas barbecue to high, or heat a char-grill pan over high heat. Bring sugar and 50ml water to the boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Transfer to a bowl, then crush half the lemon myrtle leaves in your hand to release the fragrance, add to sugar syrup and place in the freezer to chill.
  • 2
    Grill the cucumbers without turning until almost completely black (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and cover to steam for 5 minutes. Slice ¼ of a cucumber and reserve for serving, then juice remaining cucumber in a juicer and refrigerate until required.
  • 3
    Bruise remaining lemon myrtle leaves in the base of a serving jug with a wooden spoon, add cucumber juice and half-fill jug with ice, then add lemon myrtle syrup to taste. Stir well, top up with soda water, pour into glasses, add cucumber slices and top with freshly ground pepperberries.


Note Lemon myrtle plants are available from native plant nurseries. Native pepperberry is available from Herbie's Spices (; if it's unavailable substitute black peppercorns.