Friday, July 20, 2012

Wishing I was Clever Enough to Make a Good Joke about Big Star's "India Song" and This Post

Summer (at last it's summer here in Santa Barbara, and sorry, rest of the country already broiling, burning, and droughting) has arrived, which calls for long drinks and afternoons on the porch with good books after a morning at the farmers' market. Hence the re-invention of a classic above, what I dubbed the Green and Tonic. And I realize the blog has been a bit obsessed with cocktails lately, but there are a few excuses for that, not the least being writing about cocktails seems easier to do quickly. And, we head off to New Orleans next week for the Tales of the Cocktail, and I'm slowly trying to ramp myself up--it's like training for a marathon, and I haven't found the running shoes that fit my liver yet. In the meantime, this drink....

Green and Tonic

(makes two tall drinks)

1/2 a small cucumber, not peeled, cut in thin slices
1 lemon
8 sprigs lemon basil
4 oz. Hendrick's gin
tonic water (will be less a can)
two cucumber wheels
two flowery tops of lemon basil

In a cocktail shaker, combine the cucumber slices, 8 sprigs basil, and juice the lemon. Muddle thoroughly--really break-down the cucumbers and get the basil to extrude its oils. Add the gin. Muddle a bit more, but watch splashing. Add ice cubes and shake shaker. Evenly divide the contents of the shaker into two tall glasses--it's best to strain as you pour to avoid getting seeds or torn basil into the drink. Top with tonic water to about 2/3 full. Add crushed ice to fill (you do have an ice crusher, don't you? I go with a hand-cranked one, as I can feel even more virtuous having had to expend a bit of effort). Garnish with a cucumber wheel and a flowery basil top per drink.

As you can see, it makes for a lovely color (especially through a frosted glass). then when you go to drink, the aromatics of the cucumber and basil garnish right next to your nose really wake you up. The taste, too, is sublime. Here's a soundtrack for the drink, too:

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