When Dana, from killingthyme.net, asked me if I was interested in doing a cocktail recipe that was going to be part of a series of posts done by our mutual food blogger friends I, of course, said yes. It sounded easy and fun and I loved the idea of developing a series of posts within my blogging community. Cocktail culture is meant to be fun and enjoyed with friends. In a way this series, Connecting over Cocktails with my contribution, Minted Cucumber and Gin Gimlet Cocktail, is a reflection of that. It’s like we’ve gathered on a virtual backyard patio and had a party. A very good party.
I also said yes because making a cocktail recipe sounded easy. I know, I know, this makes me sound arrogant and isn’t the greatest reason to join but I thought I could easily come up with something delicious. I mean, I home-brew, so how hard could it be to craft an amazing cocktail? Well, after 5 failed attempts and feeling pretty buzzed this pompous-over-confident-home-brewer was humbled. Sure, the cocktails I created would have been good enough for my slightly intoxicated friends but they weren’t anything special. Which, by the way, was extremely discouraging because a Honey Cider and Whiskey cocktail sounded really tasty to me but it just tasted…. complicated. Also, after 5 cocktails, I was toasty toast. My creative energies became a lot more silly, loud and obnoxious. Thankfully, I was still cognitive enough to realize that what I just made and consumed wasn’t quite what I had in mind! With a slight headache the next morning I went back to the drawing board and did the only reasonable thing I could think of, research.
So what did I find? Not surprisingly, a well crafted cocktail is all about balance. Cocktails are generally only 3-4 ounces so there isn’t a whole lot of room to play with a lot of different ingredients. Simpler is better, I’d say. I scoured my library and the internet and found that many people swear by the ratio of 2:1:1. This means 2 ounces of liquor to 1 part sour to 1 part sweet. This made sense to me because it’s very similar to making a vinaigrette. Vinaigrettes are also all about ratio’s! So, with the power of knowledge, I set out to create a tasty summer drink. The only thing I need was some inspiration.
This year the mint in my herb garden has really taken off. Like, has taken over the garden and the lawn surrounding it. It’s not something I’m complaining about, unlike your lawn obsessed neighbour would. I happen to enjoy it because while I’m cutting the lawn It smells like a minty wonderland. I also had a lot of Gin leftover from a recent recipe I needed it for. I looked at what I had and decided to make something minty and ginny. I thought I was so creative but turns out a mint, lime, gin cocktail was created back in the 20’s called a Gimlet. This drink is fresh, delicious, and perfect for summer.
I’m glad I was knocked off my high horse because it forced me to learn something new. Sure, home brewing has taught me a lot about fermentation and flavour profiles in beer, but a good mixed drink and a good brew are vastly different things. Thank you Dana for inviting me along because I learned something new and something about myself! Whiskey is the bane of my existence and should be avoided at all costs. Whiskey + Jared = regret. I will say no more. Thanks, Dana, thanks.
Here's my take on the gimlet.
Minted Cucumber and Gin Gimlet Cocktail
2.5 Ounces of Gin
1 Ounce of Fresh Lime Juice
1 Ounce of Simple Syrup
4 Mint Leaves
5 Slices of Cucumber
1 Sprig of Mint
3 Paper Thin Slices of Cucumber
1 Wedge of Lime
Prepare you cocktail glass by placing your cucumber slices on the side of the glass.
In a cocktail shaker muddle together the 5 cucumber slices and 4 mint leaves together. Add in simple syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, Gin and 4-5 large ice cubes. Shake the crap out of it, or until your cocktail shaker is too cold to touch (10-20 shakes). Place 4-5 more large ice cubes into glass and pour the Minted Cucumber, Gin and Lime Cocktail on top. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a wedge of fresh lime.