Cold Press · Soap Recipies

A Gin & Tonic with Cucumber, please.

Picture this for me for a second. You’re in a big open garden, sun on your face, the breeze in your hair and no cares in the world to worry about. You look down and at your hand and what drink are you holding? Mine would be a glass of Gin and Tonic with a cucumber slice on top. Yours?

To buy this soap please visit Claudia’s Soap Kitchen

Photo 30-05-2017, 22 23 26

The classic sharp taste and smell of the gin with the refreshing coolness of the cucumber. Now why wouldn’t I make that into a soap! The cucumber scent was so fragrant that while making this soap, it filled my entire house for days. The gin fragrance wasn’t as strong but still left a lingering scent for a while.

I wanted to make a soap that looked and reminded me of that glass, an opaque base with green half slices embedded. I had to make these in two separate batches, which took 2 days to complete.

Ingredients/equipment: Cucumber slices (24 hours ahead)

Method:

  1. Measure out all your ingredients and don’t forget to wear your safety equipment.
  2. Melt your oils and butters together in the microwave safe container.
  3. While your oils are cooling to one side, mix your pre-weighed sodium hydroxide into your water and stir until clear in a well ventilated area.
  4. Allow this to cool as well.
  5. While they are cooling, add a little bit of oil to a container and mix your mica. This makes it easier to blend in with the oils and lye without clouds of dust flying up your nose.
  6. Once both oils and lye are around 25-35 degrees Celsius, combine and blend with the hand blender. You want a light trace as you will be adding colour and fragrance too.
  7. Add your pre-mixed colour and hand blend to incorporate it completed.
  8. Next pour in your fragrance and spoon mix it in. This way you can watch for any accelerating or seizing.
  9. Prepare your lined mould and fill to about half an inch thick. If you have pre-made circular moulds then pour directly into those. I unfortunately didn’t so have any so had to be creative.
  10. Once the thin layer of soap is set, unmould and cut into disk shapes with a cookie cutter. I cut out 12 round “cucumber shapes”. Then you can cut some in half or leave them whole, that’s up to you.
  1. Photo 07-05-2017Photo 07-05-2017-2

Ingredients/equipment: Gin & Tonic base

Method:

  1. Measure out all your ingredients before. Prepare your pre-made “cucumber slices” and make sure they are suitable for embedding. What I mean by this, they are solid enough to withstand a bit of force and they will not fall apart in your hands.
  2. Don’t forget to wear your safety equipment. Melt the oils and butters in the microwave safe container and allow to cool to one side.
  3. Mix your sodium hydroxide to the water and stir in a well ventilated area. Set to one side and allow to cool.
  4. Mix a little bit of oil with you titanium dioxide to make a paste so that you can mix it easily to the soap mixture.
  5. Once the oils and lye have reached 25-35 degrees Celsius, combine and mix using the hand blender.
  6. You want to aim for a medium trace so that the embedded slices do not sink into the bottom of the mixture and do not break when being pushed in.
  7. Pour your colour in and blender to incorporate it completely.
  8. Add your fragrance and hand stir.Photo 10-05-2017-3
  9. Pour half the mixture and embed some of the “cucumber slices”. Top up with the rest of the mixture into the mould until almost full. Now you will want to push the rest of your “cucumber slices” into the soap base. Make sure they are mostly submerged to reduce ‘flopage’. I left half of my top layer sticking out. In reality, they didn’t look very good when set, so I chopped the tops off as you can see in my finished product picture.
  10. Spray the top with rubbing alcohol and store in a cool dry place.
  11. Remove from the mould after 48 hours and cut into slices. These will then take 4-6 weeks to cure.

Here is the finished product. What do you think?

Photo 29-05-2017

I also had a play with melt and pour soap while I waited for the slices to cure and set. I wanted to see what a clear soap would look like with the slices embedded. Cute as can be!

Photo 30-05-2017

Have you got any suggestions for a cocktail inspired soap? Something that would go well with this lovely weather we are having at the moment? Let me know in the comments and I’ll give it a go!

Like the look of this soap? You can buy my Gin & Tonic soap on my Etsy page here.

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