The Story Behind The Sanctuary

After opening the custom ice cube and photo studio Disco Cubes in Los Angeles, photographer and DJ Leslie Kirchhoff wrote "Disco Cube Cocktails" to showcase a collection of cocktails inspired by her passion for artistic and inventive ice cubes.

Among the book’s recipes is The Sanctuary, a drink that features Cucumber Coins, small ice cylinders made from pressed English cucumbers. As the coins melt, the cucumber juice adds brightness and depth to The Sanctuary’s mixture of vodka, lychee juice, aloe liqueur, and muddled raspberries.

Kirchhoff notes how the flavored cubes help to create an experience from the first sip to the last. “I urge readers to really take it slow with the flavored cubes and pay attention to how the melting cube changes the flavor of the drink. It’s fun to be really aware of your taste buds and treat the flavors as the point of focus,” she says.


  • 1 cocktail cherry, preferably Mess Hall Cocktail Co., for garnish
  • 3 or 4 Cucumber Coins (recipe follows)
  • 4 fresh ripe raspberries
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce lychee juice
  • ¾ ounce Chareau aloe liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Soda water, for topping off


  1. Place the cherry into a coupe or cocktail glass, then add the Cucumber Coins on top.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the raspberries to extract their juice.
  3. Add the vodka, lychee juice, aloe liqueur, and lemon juice and fill the shaker with plain ice.
  4. Cover, shake for 10 seconds, then double strain the drink into the glass over the coins.
  5. Top off with a splash of soda water.

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Updated: 2020-05-09

Cucumber Coins Ingredients

  • 1½-inch cylindrical silicone tray
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled

Cucumber Coins Directions

  1. Place the silicone tray on a sheet pan.
  2. Using a juicer, juice the cucumber. Alter­natively, purée the cucumber in a blender with 1 ounce of water.
  3. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve and into a large measuring cup.
  4. Add 2 ounces of water to the juice, stir to combine, then pour ½ ounce of the mixture into each tray com­partment and freeze until solid, about 3 hours.
The Sanctuary Recipe