This month we will concentrate a bit on herbs and strawberries. Strawberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Herbs are always in good supply. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are in a drought. Pairing cucumber with a ghost pepper tequila may surprise you, but it is refreshing, bright, bubbly with a hint of heat on your lips. It will cool you off!
I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.
Strawberry Moscow Mule
5 basil leaves
1.5 oz Vodka
Juice from ½ lime
Muddle strawberries and basil with a splash of the ginger beer & lime juice. Add the vodka, give a quick stir. Top with plenty of ice & ginger beer. Garnish with strawberries & basil.
Cucumber Mint Gin Cooler
6 ounces gin
1 cup cucumber cut into chunks, plus a few thinly sliced for garnish
12 mint leaves plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons sugar (or beet sugar)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Chilled Club soda water
In a blender, combine the cucumber chunks, the mint leaves, sugar and lemon juice. Puree until you have a smooth mixture.
Fill two glasses with ice. Add 2 ounces of gin to each glass and the thinly sliced cucumbers. Fill the glasses to 2/3rds full with the cucumber mixture. Top with club soda and stir well.
Garnish with fresh mint.
2 c. lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
1.5 c. sugar
Bundle of thyme (plus sprigs for garnish)
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, thyme, and 1 cup water to a boil; stir until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, gin (if using), and 6 cups cold water; strain into a large pitcher. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour (and up to 1 week). Serve over ice, garnished with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Ghost Pepper Spritzer
1.5 oz Ghost Pepper Tequila
Cucumber- cut in chunks
Muddle a couple chunks of cucumber, 3 mint leaves, tequila and a squirt from half of lime. Strain into glass over ice and add soda water to taste.