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.



Grapefruit Juice and…Best Cocktail Mixer Ever

grapefruit-juice-cocktails-title-image-finalOver the summer I realized that I love grapefruit juice in my cocktails.  It happened rather by accident.  I have never been a huge fan of the bitter fruit.  And I can’t say I have ever willingly picked up a carton of grapefruit juice from the grocery store.  But one day at my neighbor’s house, she decided to make us cocktails.  And she squeezed some fresh grapefruit juice into our glasses.  We were just experimenting so our first round had vodka.  Hello there.  So good!  On the second round we moved on to store-bought juice and rum.  Again, SO good but totally different to the first cocktail!  And now I drink just plain grapefruit juice on occasion as well.

grapefruit-juice-for-cocktailsBut all juice is not created equal.  I have tried several brands from the grocery store but I very much prefer the Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice.  It tastes the most fresh, has less sugar but is still not too bitter.  So if you know you are going to be making some of these citrus forward cocktails, be sure to factor in a special trip to TJ’s.   Grapefruit Juice cocktailsWhat I found with rum is that it sweetens up the grapefruit juice a bit and creates a warmer drink, if that makes any sense at all.  For me, all I need is a little rum in the juice but if you are looking for something a bit more special, try this Rosemary Grapefruit Mojito.grapefruit juice based cocktailsOf course you can make a delicious grapefruit margarita but you can also make this sophisticated take on the juice and tequila with a Paloma.

grapefruit-juice-and-vodka-cocktailsIf you prefer to vodka in your bevvies, there are several drinks for you to try.  Grapefruit juice, vodka and some grenadine – pretty AND delicious.  Or try a Salty Basil Dog.

grapefruit-juice-cocktails-title-imageDon’t they just look pretty?!  I don’t get too caught up in the cocktail glass, a simple tall or short glass will work for most of these.  Cocktail aficionados might tell you otherwise but I have neither the storage nor money to completely outfit a bar.  After your first drink, you won’t care anyway if you have the “right” glassware.  So drink up.

Grapefruit Juice, the perfect cocktail mixerHow do you prefer your grapefruit cocktail?