Sassier Cucumber-infused Cocktail

(serves 2)

 

Taking “Sassy” Up a Notch
Cocktails always seem to come with a story about how they were created.  This one was inspired by our friend Kerri who likes to make up a pitcher of water infused with cucumber, ginger, lemon and mint.  She calls it Sassy Water.  We thought a bit of gin could add some fun to the infusion.  You could substitute vodka if you prefer it.

INGREDIENTS 
2 oz (1/4 cup) gin
2 oz (1/4 cup) cucumber simple syrup*
1/2 oz (1 Tbsp) lemon juice
1 tsp coarsely chopped ginger root
20-ish mint leaves
ice (plus additional for serving)
sparkling water

Garnish with cucumber, lemon and mint
    

*Cucumber Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
 

METHOD
To make cucumber simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Add cucumber and simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes.  Strain through a mesh strainer.  Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for multiple uses.

To prepare the cocktail, combine all the ingredients, except sparkling water, in a cocktail shaker or a large jar with a lid.  Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.  Strain into two glasses.  Add more ice and top with sparkling water.  Garnish as desired.

THOUGHTS
Persian or English cucumbers sliced thinly on a mandoline work well, since they have tiny or no seeds.  Freeze some of your garnish ingredients with water in ice cube trays.  Thinly sliced lemons or individual mint leaves look great and add flavor to the drink as the ice melts.  Any flowers that make it into your garnish (like these lilacs from our garden) should be non-toxic and pesticide-free.

Cheers!

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