I’ve been playing around with flavors for summer simple syrups using veggies and herbs. Cucumber syrup whether infused with herbal notes or on its own has come out as the clear winner for refreshment again and again! It can be mixed with citrus and sparkling wine, used as base in non alcoholic lemonade or mixed with white liquors such as Corn Whiskey, Vodka and Gin for a killer cocktail. One of my favorite syrup variations includes cucumber with the addition of fresh basil, it adds a beautiful aroma and subtle flavor that is simply delicious.
Thinking of spirits to mix with this magic elixir I experimented with my favorite Gin, G’Vine Florisian, a French offering made from the subtle and rare green grape flower and neutral spirits distilled from grapes, G’Vine is delicate and floral, light and smooth, and is very mixable. It’s the Gin that changed the way I thought about Gin, often too strongly flavored for me.
With the dog days of summer on the way you may want to keep this special syrup on hand at all times. Mix up a pitcher of my cocktail, sit by the pool, on the roof or head for the beach and relax!
Florisian Cucumber Cooler
1 oz G’vine Florisian Gin
2 oz Cucumber Basil Syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
Splash St Germain liquor
Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine
Seltzer or Club Soda
Build over ice in shaker and strain into chilled wine glass filled with ice. Top with equal parts club soda and Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. I like Veuve Ambal sparkling but you may use any dry sparkler. Enjoy!
Cucumber basil syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 shredded Persian cucumbers
12 basil leaves cut in thin strips
Heat sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat till boiling and mixture turns clear. Add cucumber and basil and remove from heat. Stir to incorporate solids into syrup. Cover and let mixture come to room temp and refrigerate for 4 hours. Strain solids from liquid, make sure to press liquid from cucumbers. Will keep up to two weeks in fridge.