Cucumber Basil and Lime Vodka Cocktail

*I was sent a bottle of American Harvest Organic Vodka for this post.

cucumber-and-basil-vodka-cocktail-for-summerUm, yeah.  Cucumber.  Lime.  Basil.  Each of those things screams refreshing to me.  Then put them altogether in a cocktail and of course you aren’t going to hate it.  This cucumber basil and lime vodka cocktail might just be my summer drink for 2014.  But let me tell you a little bit of a funny story…

American-Harvest-VodkaSometimes brands send me alcohol to use in posts.  Just like American Harvest did.  But most of the time I already have an idea for something I want to make with it.  The bottle arrived with a little recipe booklet and I flipped through.  Each cocktail sounded more delicious than the last.  And then I came across this cucumber number. 

slicing-cucumbers-for-the-vodka-cocktailI sliced up the cucs, quartered the limes and got almost through the entire recipe before I realized…

refreshing-vodka-drink-perfect-for-summerthat the drink is pretty much straight vodka.  Like, there is a little bit of lime juice from the muddling but it’s pretty much a big old cup of icy cold vodka.  You would have thought I would have figured that out when I read the recipe the first time.  Or made my grocery list of things I needed for making the cocktail.  But no.  I’m a total lightweight so I was super concerned that I would not like it and be drunk just from one sip.  I am happy to report that while the cocktail was on the stronger side (again, the whole thing is pretty much vodka) the taste was fantastic!  The basil, cucumber and lime took a little of the edge off but the real star is the American Harvest Vodka.  For real.  I wouldn’t just say that since they sent me a bottle of vodka.  I could totally see drinking these this summer.  Like, really slowly.  Over several hours.  With lots of food in my stomach.  And a baby sitter for the kids.  And some Drinkwel.  But I have heard that organic vodka’s are not as likely to induce a hang over…

summer-cocktail-vodka-basil-cucumberWhat I loved most about this cocktail is that the flavors were so crisp and clean.  The ice made this super easy to sip and the fragrance from the basil and cucumber made it a really enjoyable from start to finish.  It goes to show that with the right brand of spirit, you might like something you were never a huge fan of before.  This has also happened with me and whiskey.  But still not probably going to drink that straight.

You can find the full recipe right here (I didn’t use the agave because I don’t generally add sweeteners to my drinks)

*Thank you for supporting the brands, like American Harvest, that let me do what I do.  All opinions are mine.



Muddled Tangerine Basil Infused Water

Muddled tangerine and basil infused water for summer. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd for my grand finale I present to you… a muddled tangerine basil infused water.  I know, that name needs work.  But I just could not bring myself to use tangerineade.  In an effort to keep you deliciously hydrated this week I’ve shared several easy muddled fruit water recipes.  In case you missed them  you can check out my muddled ginger limeade and muddled raspberry lemonade.  But I am kind of in love with this one.  I love basil and the smell of these tangerines is truly intoxicating.

Easy muddled tangerine and basil refresher.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI love fresh herbs in my drinks.  And basil is one of my favorite smells ever.  Every time you lift this glass to your lips you are met with a nose hug from the basil.  Gah.  So good.

Tangerine and basil are two tastes that taste great together. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy kids keep me on my toes.  One minute they love those little cutie tangerines and the next they are ignoring them as if they were chicken (my kids swear they are allergic to chicken).  I am so glad I figured out a way to use them and not let them go to waste.

Shaken Basil Iced Tea

Right now I am totally in to this shaken basil iced tea.  Yes, I’m still wishing it was that basil gimlet from San Diego from Blogher.  I tried to make one and it just didn’t turn out right.  But I still want that basil flavor.  I figured that I shouldn’t continually try cocktail recipes all day long so I decided to boost my regular iced tea.  I’ve been adding basil to my iced tea for a week now but decided that shaking it might make it even more perfect.  I was not wrong.
I made the iced tea in my Keurig and I use the Celestial Seasonings Unsweetened Black Iced Tea.  I do not like my tea sweet, but I am sure you could also use one of the presweetened teas available.  Just don’t make me drink it or I’ll gag.  For those of you that don’t have a Keurig, I’m so sorry for you!  Just brew your tea however you usually do and then watch the sales so you can buy yourself one because they are awesome.
Add some basil to your cocktail shaker.  I used about 5 leaves.  I could have even put a few more for an even bolder basil flavor.  I added a smidge (what?  That is not a technical enough measurement for you?) or a tablespoon or so of iced tea and muddled the basil.  Yes, that is an ice cream scooper that I used to muddle.  If you don’t know what muddle means, it means to gently smoosh the basil to release the oils.  Add the ice to the shaker, add more iced tea.  Then shake what your mamma gave you.  Pretend you are in the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise.  I’ve never actually seen that movie but it sounds like there are probably drinks in it.  Am I right?
This was also my son’s first photo shoot.  In the middle of me taking pictures of the ingredients, he walked up with what appears to be a mini car motor of some kind and started saying, “click.”  He is hilarious.  I think I am going to have him be a regular contributor.
This really did turn out so good!  It was amazingly refreshing, had a lovely basil flavor and made me feel a little fancy.  This would be awesome to serve to guests.  It is a nice way to take something kind of ordinary and make it special.
Plus I saw this at the store a few weeks ago.  Magazines are never wrong.  Your welcome.
All photos are mine.