I swear, the summer keeps getting better and better. I feel horrible about saying this when there are so many places not having a good summer, but we deserve it. It is not every year that we actually see temperatures above 80 degrees, and I swear at this point we have seen more days like that than I can count. Tonight I did something a little out of the ordinary for me – almost decadent – I went to a class at Book Larder on making cocktails. I sat there for 90 minutes basically listening to a lecture on different flavor combinations, spices and ways to infuse alcohol. It was amazing in so many ways…first of all, to take a break from work, or the chaos of coming home after a long day – just to sit there and be able to think about all the different creations available – it is almost a little overwhelming. There is so much I want to do, and so little time.
This weekend when our friends were visiting, they really got to see what we have been working on for the past couple of years. They were shocked. They actually called us adults, and I just laughed. They wanted to know how we even know what types of alcohol to buy – and I explained that we have basically been doing research for the past couple of years – and this year in particular we really made a lot of progress getting to know a bartender at our favorite restaurant. He is so knowledgeable, we just sit there and drill him every time we go there. It is amazing how much we have learned. Between jam and cocktails, there has got to be a business in there somewhere – or for now, a really fun hobby.
I also decided that from now on, whenever I post a cocktail here, I will explain how to turn it into a mocktail – in case you don’t drink alcohol, you are pregnant – or you want to make your kids something really fun to drink. I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I was sold after the first ingredient. I am a sucker for anything with cucumbers. I also thought, why not get your vitamins in as well? This cocktail was just perfect for a hot summer night. It was so refreshing, and earthy – the flavors were incredible. If you are making this alcohol free – just leave out the tequila and add a little extra tonic water – it is that easy. Your kids will never believe they are actually drinking something good for them. Here’s to summer!!
- 2 cups chopped English cucumber
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, sectioned and juiced
- Dash of salt
- 1/2 cup tequila blanco (optional)
- 3/4 cup chilled tonic water
Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Scrape mixture into a bowl; stir in tequila. Chill. Strain. Stir in tonic water. Serve over ice.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Cucumber Mint Tequila Cooler