April 20, 2013
We are totally stepping out of our comfort zone today and making a cocktail. With the temps hanging around in the mid 60s, it’s a beautiful, Spring day. It’s also a great day for a fun and refreshing cocktail! We have to soak up this sunshine, and I thought this was the perfect addition to a perfect day. Cucumber is one of my favorite flavors. Any time I’m at a restaurant and they have a cucumber cocktail on the menu I just have to order it. This is a strange occurrence since I often gravitate towards beer or wine, and most liquors don’t really agree with my stomach. This cocktail is so light and refreshing. It literally tastes like Spring. The pureed cucumber takes it to a whole different level, and the mint almost takes you to the mojito level taste, but doesn’t take it too far. In the end it was a total crapshoot. I totally just threw everything in a glass and hoped it came out successful. Good thing it did! Hey, even Zach liked it! When he likes one of my recipes, I deem it a success. =)
What I love about this drink, is that the vodka can be eliminated just as easily as it can be added…Well I take that back. It would be kind of hard to “take it away” after you’ve already poured it in, but you really don’t miss the vodka if you choose not to use it. I think the fact that the cucumber is such a stronge flavor, it tends to overpower the taste of vodka (a good vodka that is — not the rubbing alcohol tasting kind). Try to use a good one if you are gravitating towards the alcohol version. The mint also helps in being an extremely overpowering flavor.
Another thing I love about this drink, is the freshness it brings to the table or in this case…the tumbler. Fresh ingredients are an ABSOLUTE must for this recipe, and if they’re in season when you happen to be making this drink, then you’ve truly hit a homerun.
Also, it is so completely necessary to use a bright straw. Just saying.
One more thing before I call it a day. It’s been a long one. It’s time for some relaxation. If you would like to make a simple syrup, it’s very easy. Please do not go buy a pre-made simple syrup. It’s literally water and sugar. Combine equal parts water and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, while constantly stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Really, it’s that easy. Totally not kidding. If you want to skip the sugar and still use something sweet, just use agave nectar. It’s usually my go to on such occasions.
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends!
- 1 whole cucumber, skin removed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¾ cup simple syrup
- 3 cups ginger ale (we used 2 cans of Hansen’s)
- 1 cup vodka (optional)
- slices of cucumber (garnish)
- In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with a tablespoon of water. Blend until completely pureed then set aside.
- In the pitcher you will be serving your cocktail out of, combine the fresh mint, lime juice and simple syrup. If you have a muddler, use it now to mash the ingredients together (If you don’t have a muddler, I have found that the bottom of a long wooden spoon works perfectly). At this point, add in your reserved pureed cucumber and vodka. Add about a cup or two of ice (this step is optional if you will be serving right away — otherwise skip so the mixture doesn’t become watered down) and then top off with the ginger ale. With a long wooden spoon or stirrer mix the liquid together. If you have a lid to your pitcher that closes tightly, feel free to shake. Garnish with cucumber slices and enjoy!