A hot day at the farmers market last weekend got us thinking about cool refreshing cocktails, so we came up with this extra-crisp take on a summer classic, the gimlet. Here's what went in 'em:
Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 liter water
4 oz gin (we like Hendrick's for its innate cucumber notes, but feel free to substitute with gin of your choice)
2 Tbsp sweetened lime juice*
We started by picking up some cucumbers, limes, and basil at the farmers market. We combined a liter of cold water in a pitcher with 1/2 cup fresh torn basil and cucumber slices (approximately 1 small cucumber's worth of slices, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds). We let the water get infused with the delicate basil and cucumber flavor over about 8 hours. You can even allow the water to infuse overnight.
Next, we poured our infused water into a SodaStream bottle (we kept the basil and cucumber out, so it was just flavored water in the SodaStream bottle). We added fizz to our water with the SodaStream so our cocktail would have some sparkle. If you don't have a SodaStream, you can try infusing store-bought club soda. This isn't something we've tried ourselves, but it should yield similar results; you may need to cut the cucumber slices in half to get them into the bottle. Just make sure to re-seal the cap on the bottle tightly after adding the cucumber & basil to keep things nice & fizzy!
To assemble the drinks, we combined ice, 2 tablespoons sweetened lime juice, and 4 oz gin in a shaker (shake to combine). We poured this out evenly over two low ball glasses filled with ice. We topped both drinks with our infused sparkling cucumber basil water and garnished with a basil leaf and cucumber slice.
These cocktails are perfect for a warm summer afternoon get-together with friends. Just increase the ingredients according to the number of guests you'd like to serve. We had lots of leftover infused sparkling water after we made our two cocktails, so you'll have plenty for making more fancy gimlets or just enjoying the flavored sparkling water over ice. The cucumber and basil infusion adds an extra-crisp clean taste that's perfect for beating the heat all summer long. We love this drink because it's loaded with refreshing flavor without being overly sweet.
Note about sweetened lime juice: This is the quick & dirty version of lime-flavored simple syrup. You can most likely buy sweetened lime juice at your local liquor store, but if you have fresh limes you can also juice them and sweeten the juice yourself. We do this by warming up the lime juice for 20 seconds in the microwave (so the warm liquid will dissolve the sugar more easily) and then adding 1/2 tsp sugar per tablespoon of lime juice. We prefer fresh lime juice to sweetened lime juice from the store, but either will work for this recipe.
In honor of our libation experimentation, we added a few new boozy designs to our catalog this week, including this cool Gimlet Weather tee:
As always, it's available on a variety of shirt styles, sizes, and colors.
That's it for this week! Let us know in the comments what your favorite summer beverages are!
Peace, love, and cocktails,