June 29, 2012

Friday Happy Hour: Cucumber Collins

Got extra gin lying around?  Got extra cucumbers lying around?  We did, and that's exactly what caused us to make these delicious summertime beverages.  Cool and refreshing, the cucumber adds a very fresh taste to this cocktail.

So, to start with, you need: cucumber, mint, club soda, gin, simple syrup (don't know how to make that? I'll share later, perhaps), and lemons.  Better if you have a Collins glass, but if not, you can use a rocks/old fashioned glass like I have shown at left.

5 slices or so of cucumber (halved)
1 jigger (1.5 oz) simple syrup
1 jigger (1.5 oz) fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 jiggers (3 oz) gin
club soda
mint and an extra cucumber slice for garnish

Start by muddling a generous amount of sliced cucumber with one jigger of simple syrup and one of lemon juice in the bottom of a shaker.  To get more cucumber flavor, you should really pulverize the slices.  I like cutting the circles in half first to allow more of the seeds and cucumber to break off easier.

Add 2 jiggers of gin to the shaker and fill with ice.  Shake vigorously until cold.

Here you've got an option:  If you want substantial amounts of cucumber in your beverage, pour it unstrained into a glass about 2/3 full.  If you just want the flavor and don't want the cucumber pieces (my preferred way), strain it into a glass over ice up to about 2/3 full.

Fill the remaining 1/3 of the glass with club soda.  Important step: Dump the entire thing into a larger glass and back to mix the soda into the drink.

Garnish with mint sprig and an extra slice of cucumber and enjoy.

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