This summer has been so busy that Gary didn’t actually get his fair share of gin and tonics. Maybe that’s a messed up way to measure the speed to summer, but it’s an indicator (he did fine with rose, so nobody get panicky). My dad used to mix up his first gin and tonic of the year as soon as the weather started to get warmer, and I know there are many people who consider gin and tonic to be the quintessential summer drink – and then don’t drink them during the colder months. It’s a practice Gary picked up from him, and stirring up the first one of the season is always a reason to think of my father, which makes the drink a both refreshing and poignant.
So I offered to make him one the other day, and then saw a couple other random fresh and green ingredients in the fridge, and this drink was born in about 2 minutes. Usually I makeG&Ts with the classic wedge of lime, but I was feeling frisky (also, this tip from my late father: to make a gin and tonic without having to stir it, and still have everything be nicely blended, put the ice cubes in a glass, squeeze the lime wedge over the ice, pour in the gin, then add the tonic which bubbles everything together. Drink.)
Anyone who makes cocktails regularly, or who reads about cocktails regularly, is probably familiar with the technique of muddling. But if you’re not, don’t even start to feel panicky (I could even find my muddler when I was making this cocktail, but as you’ll see that’s not going to stop us).
A muddler is basically a bartender’s pestle, and you use it to crush up various ingredients so that they flavor the drink more completely, releases juices and oils and the like. I don’t have a muddler, so I improvised by using a handheld citrus juicer, which is one of my favorite kitchen tools in general. Worked like a charm.
Some publishing friends and I have been chatting about the notion of a Detox/Retox Cocktail book, which essentially….well, hopefully you get what that would be all about. I think this drink would be an obvious contender – cucumber and mint? Why this cocktail is practically a salad! But instead of dressing, there’s gin!
Clearly I am not a person holding a degree in nutrition.
But can you think of anything more refreshing on a hot summer evening? Except maybe a Basil Ginger Lemon Saketini.
Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonic
- 6 thin slices cucumber
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- ¼ lime
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- 4 ounces tonic water
- Fill a glass 1/2 full with ice. Squeeze the cucumber and mint leaves in a citrus press (one of my go-to kitchen tools) over the ice, then dump the squished cucumber and mint into the glass. Squeeze the lime over the glass and toss that in as well. Pour in the gin, then pour in the tonic, and give a quick stir. Serve it up.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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