My cocktail loyalties lie with the bitter, the sour, and the fresh. You will never see me ordering a saccharine daiquiri or anything that is made with a 'mix'. Sour drinks should not be made with sour mixes, they should be made with fresh squeezed citrus, and if there is going to be fruit or vegetation in my drink, it has to be the real thing! That being said, I wanted to create a cocktail that is a perfect refresher for an end of Summer sip.
I was inspired by a drink I had while on vacation in Milwaukee, and believe it or not it had nothing to do with beer. So I present to you, the Cucumber Badger! It's a multi-step process, but then it's as easy as pouring and saying aaaah.
1 750-ml bottle of vodka; preferably Skyy, Absolut, or Smirnoff
1 English or, seedless cucumber
1 large glass vessel (I got this gigantic mason jar from Michaels for about $3.50)
Basil-Infused Simple Syrup
Fresh basil leaves, between 1/4 cup and 1.5 cups, depending on how strong you want it
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
Again, this could not be simpler. Pour the water into a small saucepan, followed by the basil leaves and the sugar, crushing the basil leaves a bit in the pan. Simply bring to a boil and let it stay there until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then get it off the heat, remove the basil leaves, let it cool, and it's ready to use! Note: if you leave the mixture boiling longer than it needs to, the sugar will start to darken, and your mixture will discolor; not necessarily a problem, but you won't have that crystal-clear syrup. What you have leftover after you make drinks will store in the fridge.
Makes 2 large cocktails or 4 small cocktails
4 oz cucumber-infused vodka (see above)
12 oz plain seltzer water
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (this might take 2 limes, so buy 2 just in case)
1 oz basil-infused simple syrup (see above)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Seriously, shake it until it's so cold you can barely hold it. Very cold cocktails > slightly cold cocktails.
Pour into 2 highball glasses (if you are making 2) and add 6 oz of the seltzer to each glass. Stir briefly, top with a few ice cubes and a lime wedge or fresh cucumber slices if desired.
~muddled mint leaves
2 cups cubed, frozen watermelon (seedless!)
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tsp honey (optional)
1/2 cup plain vodka (although I imagine coconut would be great, too!)
This recipe was originally intended for margaritas, but when you have company on a Saturday night and find yourself without tequila... you make do with what you have! As a happy accident, this turned out really well, and is a refreshing drink in either its cocktail or virgin form.
The idea came about when I realized that I had a watermelon that needed to be used... it was at its very sweetest, and there was no way that my husband and I could finish the whole thing ourselves.
I decided to cut it up into cubes and freeze it, and then meditate on the best way to make it into something delicious and full of liquor...
We hope you liked our first Friday Evening Cocktail Hour! If you enjoy these themed posts, please let us know, and thanks for reading!