I hate vodka, but I could drink this all day.
—Real live testimonial of cucumber infused vodka
First off, starting this project during a full-on job search while also planning a wedding was a bad idea. On the plus, I have a couple interviews set up AND I’m enjoying wedding bliss (by bliss, I mean hearing my lovely new bride vacuuming in the other room*). Most of the hectic stuff is in the past, and I have a rather long list of posts I’m excited to get up. Please bear with and send requests.
At first thought, the most interesting thing about the cucumber might be how utterly boring it is. We’re basically talking about crunchy water here, you wouldn’t imagine it adding much to an infusion. However, that sort of thinking is folly–cucumber vodka is a delight. A nifty little gourd–incredibly versatile, fresh, and makes for such a great base for strong flavored herbal infusions.
The key to a good cucumber vodka infusion is to use the freshest fruits you can find (yes, they are technically fruits). The number of days you infuse is also key–too much and it gets a bit unpleasantly bitter. Too little and you’re just drinking vodka (not that I’ve complained about this before).
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded (tip: use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds)
- 1.5 cups vodka
- Chop up the cucumbers into large, manageable chunks.
- Add cucumbers and vodka to a jar. If the vodka doesn’t cover the cucumber chunks, add a bit more.
- Seal the jar and shake well.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 10 days. Give it a gentle shake every other day or so.
- On day 10, pour through a metal strainer into a bottle.
Tips: Store in the refrigerator and use within 3 months for best flavor. Pairs well with strong herbal flavors, citrus, and summery drinks.
Please note, once we get a few of these up and posted, I’ll try to limit myself to 1 original drinks per post, while occasionally having separate posts for additional drinks. For now, I would like to err on the side of more boozies for my little boozeangels.
- 2 oz cucumber vodka
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 10-15 fresh mint leaves
- soda water or water
- Lemon wedge, cucumber slice, and/or a sprig of mint for garnish
With a wooden spoon, muddle the mint and sugar in the bottom of a large glass. Fill glass with ice. Add lemon juice and cucumber vodka then shake. Top off with soda water or water and garnish as desired. Note: Try basil, lemongrass, or rosemary in place of mint.
This Cucumber Makes Me Feel Dirty
- 2 oz cucumber-infused vodka
- Several olives
Fill small double-shot glass, rocks glass, or juice glass (about a 4-oz cup) with wet, briny olives (if you take them from a strained bowl, add a quarter oz of brine). Shake cucumber vodka with ice and strain into glass. Spear a toothpick into the mix.
- 2 oz cucumber vodka
- .5 oz basil vodka
Shake both vodkas in ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with olive. Also nice with a dash of sweet vermouth and/or olive brine.
Also use to make:
- Martini, especially dirty martinis
- Bloody mary
- Gimlet, in place of gin
- Vodka on the rocks
- Vodka tonic
- With lemonade
* please note: I did all the dishes today, cooked up enough mad-tasty food to last us a week, and completely reorganized and sanitized the kitchen. I may be a fiscally deadbeat husband, but I do at least manage my share of the chores.