Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cucumber Basil Gimlet

I have something absolutely ridiculous to tell you guys.

Are you sitting down?

It is AUGUST.





Am I the only one who is perplexed at how it got to be the end of summer? Don't get me wrong; fall is probably my favorite season. I don't even seem to hate winter like most people I know do. But there are just so many summery things that I need to accomplish prior to September 21st.

First up: drink as many refreshing summer cocktails as possible.

As I demonstrated in my first post-hiatus recipe, I like to "use up produce" as an excuse to brainstorm cocktail ideas. So when I had a couple mini cucumbers and a bunch of basil looking out at me forlornly from my fridge, I finally saw them as the match made in heaven that they are!

Combine that flavor combo with the classic gimlet (lime and gin - or if you're just that type of person, vodka) and you've got yourself a summer afternoon classic.

Cucumber Basil Gimlet
Makes 2 (large) servings

4 shots (6 oz) gin
Juice of 4 limes
2 mini cucumbers (probably 1 large or 1.5 medium cucumber), chopped (reserve two slices for garnish)
10 large basil leaves
3 tablespoons agave nectar (or sugar)
Seltzer

In a food processor or blender, pulse chopped cucumber and 8 basil leaves. You want to get it as liquid-like as possible; mine was eventually the consistency of a slushee. It might seem at first like you're just getting a salsa-like texture; keep scraping down the sides and pulsing until it becomes slushee-like (albeit room temperature).

{At this point, I had to run a few errands (aka go buy the limes), so I let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes. I thought it might also help infuse the basil flavor. I have no idea how much this really worked, though, so you could probably just proceed here.}

Press cucumber/basil mixture through a fine sieve into a cocktail shaker. Make sure to get all the liquid; discard the solids.

To shaker, add lime juice, gin, agave nectar, and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously (especially if you're using sugar as an agave substitute - you need it to dissolve here).

Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top off with seltzer and garnish with the reserved cucumber slices and basil leaves.

{Optional but suggested: 1. Find a good friend who understands how important straw aesthetics are to you. 2. Receive amazingly coordinated straws from said friend and use them in this drink.}

Summer is winding down. Go forth - hit the beach, re-read the entire Harry Potter series, and make a gimlet!

Oh, and let me know any other summery drink ideas before we're out of time!

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