I left a very rainy Iowa last week for my vacation to Tennessee only to be greeted with more rain the second I arrived. After investing in an umbrella and making the most of it I then came back to.. you guessed it.. MORE RAIN. I’m beginning to feel like I have a literal storm cloud above me! In an effort to shake the dreary weather and get into the spirit of sunnier soon-to-be-summer days, I thought a proper drink was in order. While thinking about some of the items I’ll be planting in my garden in the next few weeks (hopefully), I was inspired to combine a few to bring you a fresh and crisp cocktail.
Refreshing and cooling cucumber made the perfect match to my homemade jalapeno infused vodka that added more of that garden fresh flavor, as well as a hint of spiciness. My favorite flavor combination of cilantro and lime finished it all off with some zest, making this a balanced and yet bold cocktail. This will quickly become your new summer drink to enjoy after a long day in the garden and perhaps the best way to use some of the ingredients you’re growing!
(Quick & Simple) Jalapeno Infused Vodka:
Half of a jalapeno pepper
1 cup vodka
Grab a mason jar or other glass sealing container and add the pepper. Use a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon to muddle the pepper. Basically you want to squish it up enough to release all that spicy and delicious flavor the pepper has. Pour in the vodka, seal, shake, and set aside for 30 minutes to an hour. If you can, let it sit overnight for a bolder flavor, but if you need that cocktail ASAP.. you need only to sit tight for 30 minutes. Remove the pepper after you have the vodka to your desired spiciness level or it will only continue to get hotter the longer it sits.
Now let’s make it!
(makes 1 cocktail)
3 (1/4 inch thick) slices of fresh cucumber + a few extra for garnish
8-10 fresh cilantro leaves + a few extra for garnish
Juice from half a lime
1 tsp sugar
1oz jalapeno infused vodka
In a large glass or cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber slices, cilantro leaves, lime juice, and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
Strain into an ice filled glass, add the vodka, and give it a light stir. Top it all off with some club soda, garnish, and serve.