A few farmer’s markets ago, I bought a monster cucumber. I had grand plans to chop it up into lots of salads, but alas, I became distracted that week by other foodstuffs. The cucumber sat sadly in the refrigerator until I became worried that it would start going bad. What could I possibly make with an entire gigantic cucumber all at once?
Answer: summertime cocktails! Hooray!!
Kelly over at Laughter, Strength and Food got me thinking after posting this, but I wanted to make it into an adult beverage. Google led me to this recipe, and I had all the ingredients needed, with the added bonus of needing to use basil. I had just bought two beautifully flourishing plants, so robust that I worried I wouldn’t be able to use it quickly enough.
All you need is a cucumber, lime juice, gin or vodka, basil, water, and sugar. In order to make it drink a bit more low-calorie, I opted to use Truvia instead of sugar. Luke didn’t care for it, so maybe sugar is the way to go for this kind of recipe. However, this didn’t stop him from helping me finish my drink!
First, you need to make your simple syrup (basil, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar):
Bring it to a boil, until the sugar is dissolved, and take it off the burner. Let it infuse, covered, for about twenty minutes. Meanwhile, you can start chopping up your cucumber.
Throw the chopped cucumber into the blender and pulse until it’s liquefied, like this:
Next, you’ll need to put the blended cucumber through a mesh strainer. Hopefully your strainer is bigger than mine.
Once you’ve got the cucumber juice ready, take your simple syrup and strain out the basil. Add the following to a cocktail shaker: ice, 3 oz gin or vodka, 1 oz each: cucumber juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake shake shake. You may need to adjust the amount of each based on individual taste. Practice makes perfect!
Here is the gin version:
And the vodka version:
I think I like the vodka version better. The gin version tasted a little off to me. Maybe I just like gin in the form of gin and tonic? I would definitely enjoy this without alcohol, too. At any rate, whichever way you try it makes for a fabulous, refreshing summertime beverage. Perfect for enjoying on the deck, watching the sunset… or even better, on a beach!
What’s your favorite summertime cocktail?