Created as a tribute to chef Rick Bayless for Chicago's "A Taste for the Arts" 30th Anniversary Gala, this refreshing cocktail combines Hendrick's gin with a mix of lime and cucumber juices and spicy jalapeño syrup.
Pass whole, unpeeled English cucumbers through a juice extractor. Set aside.
Muddle chopped jalapeños into 2 cups of raw sugar until a thick paste has formed. Combine with 2 cups of water in a small pot over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce until a cup and a half remains. (Feel free to add seeds, to taste, to adjust spiciness.) When done, remove from heat and strain off all the solids and chill.
Combine the gin, cucumber juice, lime juice, and jalapeño syrup in a tall glass. Add ice and top with soda water, stir gently to incorporate. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with salted cucumber spear.