adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Hump Day: Cool As A Cucumber Summer Cocktail

Here's a short story about the South of France: They don't sell club soda in grocery stores. The End. Seriously.  It's nowhere.  I came up with this Cool Summer Cocktail made with cucumber, basil and mint after being inspired by this recipe from Bon Appétit, but for the life of me couldn't find seltzer or club soda.  I ended up just using sparkling water, and it was NOT the same.

Wanted: Delicious Cumber-Basil-Mint-Rum Cocktail seeks Bubbly, Fizzy Club Soda

We decided that here in Montpellier, we'd be better off leaving the water out and just serving this drink as a martini.  We tried that and it was delish.  But all ya'll in the states have club soda flowing like whoa, so you shouldn't have a problem making this either way.

lovely and green

You'll Need:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 large cucumber (about 8 oz.), thinly sliced crosswise, plus 12 slices for garnish
  • 24 fresh mint leaves plus 12 sprigs for garnish
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • your booze of choice:  gin, rum or vodka.  just use what you've got laying  soda water, divided
  • club soda
Directions: Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.  You have now made simple syrup, which can be stored in a jar for up to 1 month.  Instead, you'll bring this simple syrup mixture to a boil.  Remove pan from heat and add cucumber slices (reserving 12 for garnish), 24 mint leaves, and basil. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain cucumber-herb syrup into a jar, pressing on solids in strainer. Now you can either make a martini by putting the syrup and liquor into a martini shaker with ice cubes, shaking, straining into a martini glass, and garnishing with a cucumber slice.  Or, you can put the syrup, liquor and club soda over ice, stir to combine and garnish with a cucumber slice and sprig of mint.  Either way, you're in for a crisp and tasty summer drink! Santé!

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