Basil Cucumber Cooler: Hello Summer
I used to be that person that didn't mix her food on her plate and definitely didn't mix random food items together like chocolate and fruit. Or apples and cheese. Or watermelon and feta. Or dipping bread in olive oil that has been mixed with other things? Umm...no.
But as happens with age, tastes change, we mature, and we realize that apples and cheese are the best thing since sliced bread dipped in olive oil. ;)
But still there are moments when I have to remind myself that I am indeed a grown-up that is not afraid to try new things. Especially if that new thing is a beautiful soft cocktail in my Instagram feed. :) The pretty drinks get me every time.
And so began my experiment with some cucumber, some cardamom, some basil simple syrup, and some chili powder and salt because Whitney at My Own Little Mess said it was good...and I like to believe that pretty photos (and talented recipe creators!) don't lie.
Whitney, you done good. :)
I messed up the recipe (I'm terrible at following recipe directions) and it was still good. Delicious in fact.
And I'm sensing a pattern here with the salt/chili powder rim. First the Spicy Grapefruit Margarita and now this. A signature perhaps for all of my Marnie Rae drinks?
Bar Tools You May Need:
Recipe from My Own Little Mess (check them out!)
Ingredients for the salt/chili rim:
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
Combine and mix well.
- 2 oz fresh cucumber juice (I increased the amount a little, I <3 cucumber)
- 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz basil simple syrup
- dash of ground cardamom
- tonic water (optional, as I learned from my inability to follow directions)
- Roughly chop 1/2 - 3/4 of a cucumber into approximately 1" chunks. Place these in a food processor or blender (I used a Ninja Bullet) and puree for at least 30 seconds or until it has become very liquid. I pureed 3 cucumbers and poured the remaining juice into a mason jar and then refrigerated. Good thing because we made these drinks again the following day!
- Line a bowl or measuring pitcher with the cheesecloth. Pour the pureed mixture into the cheesecloth and then squeeze to release as much juice as possible. You'll be surprised at how much juice comes from a cucumber:) Discard the cucumber pulp. (If you don't have a food processor, grate the cucumber. Using your hands, repeatedly squeeze small handfuls of the grated portion into a separate glass until it has been thoroughly juiced.) This was my first time making cucumber juice and I was intimidated by the cheesecloth and the whole process - don't worry, it's surprisingly quick and easy.
- Rim a chilled glass with lemon and then dip into your salt and chili powder mixture. Add ice cubes and set aside.
- Add to your shaker: ice, cucumber juice, lemon juice, basil simple syrup, and cardamom.
- Shake shake shake:)
- Pour through a strainer into your rimmed glass and then...(here's my mistake, I forgot to top with tonic water) - garnish with a cucumber slice, lemon slice, or a basil leaf.
- OR...top the drink with tonic water and then garnish.
See? What did I tell ya'? Delish. Even without the tonic water.
And I have to think, a little healthy too, right? Cucumber, lemon, cardamom (good for digestion). So here we are, winning with soft cocktails again:)
Let's raise our glasses and toast:
"May we be content with our lot, when you think about it, is quite a lot."
Did you make this drink? Share it on Instagram and tag me @marnieraec! Be sure to follow me there for more drink recipes and the best restaurants and bars to find soft cocktails.