So, from what I hear there’s a mad heat wave hitting most of the country this week… What’s a girl to do? Mix up some cocktails and throw a porch party! If you can’t escape the heat, make the most of it.
Gin (a clear liquor with hints of juniper, lemon, and other spices) was practically made for lemonade. The Tom Collins, a cocktail made of carbonated lemonade and gin, has been popular for over a hundred years. So, it’s gotta be good, right? But, could it be better? What could I add?
Mint is always a great additive to summer drinks but unless you have a mint plant, it’s just not economical. And although I would have loved the refreshing texture of carbonated water here, I have a really really hard time paying $1 for a liter of club soda. So, I went with straight lemonade.
So what’s the next in line for summery drink additives? CUCUMBER!! Yes, slice the cucumber as thin as possible and the light, fresh flavor infuses almost instantly into the drink. The alcohol in the gin also helps the cucumber effuse into the drink.
This could also easily be made in a pitcher for a large crowd (or a few really thirsty friends).
- ½ cup water $0
- 1 oz. (2 Tbsp) lemon juice $0.12
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar $0.04
- 1.5 oz (1 shot) gin $1.24
- ¼ med. cucumber $0.20
- Combine water, lemon juice, and water in a glass and stir until sugar is dissolved. The sugar dissolves best in room temperature water rather than cold, so don’t add ice yet.
- Add the gin and 5-6 super thin slices of cucumber. Fill the glass to the top with ice and sip slowly.
If you want to be fancy and use a cocktail shaker, you’ll need to make a simple syrup as regular sugar does not dissolve well in cold liquids. To make a simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small pot. Stir and heat over a medium flame until the sugar is fully dissolved. The simple syrup can be kept refrigerated in a tightly sealed container indefinitely. When you’re ready to make the cocktail, combine ice, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup (same amount as lemon juice) in a shaker. Shake for about 30 seconds and then pour over ice.
I love summer!