A couple years ago my good friend Paula and I and another friend were at a restaurant in Denver and had a DELIGHTFUL drink that was a sorta cucumber, lemonade martini (I can’t remember what they called it). It was SO REFRESHING and I am not typically a fan of lemonade. It was cool and smooth and lemony and amazing!
Well, the weather has turned warm here in North Carolina (I forgot how early the warm weather arrives … and oh the pollen). It was an unusually hot day for the beginning of April and the air conditioning was not working, we were looking for ways to stay cool and I remembered that lemonade drink. I started throwing things in a pitcher and it worked!
I will tell you, the secret is “Rain Cucumber Vodka”. It has to be this brand … other brands do not quite have as much cucumber flavor. I also cut up some cucumber slices and let them just sit in the drink while it chilled in the fridge … it helps, really!
Rain Cucumber Vodka
Limoncello (this is kinda sweet as well as lemony)
Seltzer Water (not tonic water)
Simple Syrup (if you don’t prefer too much lemony tang and like a sweeter lemonade)
Fresh Basil (it sounds odd, but it goes and makes it DELICOUS)
Ok, put a little ice, tear a bunch of basil leaves (& add the simple syrup if you want) and a few cucumber slices. Muddle this together for a few minutes to release the oils of the basil. Squeeze in about 3 lemons, add about 1/2 a cup of the cucumber vodka and about 1/4 cup of limoncello. Stir, taste. Adjust accordingly to how much more cucumber or lemon or sweet you want to taste. We like ours lemony and tangy and less sweet so I omitted the simple syrup completely.
The limoncello gives a good lemon intensity, but is sweet so won’t help much with the tang.
Then add the seltzer water for a little fizz and to help balance it all out. Tear in some more basil leaves and add some lemon and cucumber slices. It makes for a really pretty drink and oh, so refreshing on a hot day!