Yeah, I know Shakespeare said that in the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love....eh, this (not so young) woman's fancy turns to cocktail time on the deck!
Last night I made the delightful little concoction you see on the right...I call it a Cucumber Fennel Lemondrop. English cucumber, lemon, fennel simple syrup were muddled together, I added vodka and ice, garnished and that was it. Honestly, it's one of my favorite cocktails ever! I'll be making these frequently over the warm months!
Cucumber Fennel Lemondrop
- 2 oz. vodka
- 3/4 oz. fennel simple syrup (see recipe below)
- 1/4 of a lemon cut into wedges
- 2" piece of English cucumber cut into dice (leave the peel on if you're using an English or seedless cucumber - the ones that come shrink-wrapped because they aren't waxed. If you're using a regular cucumber, peel it so you don't get wax in your cocktail!)
In a cocktail tin, muddle the lemon and cucumber with the simple syrup until well pulverized. Add the vodka and fill almost to the top with ice. Cap the shaker and shake until the tin is frosted. Strain into a Collins glass and serve with a slice of cucumber and a slice of lemon. Enjoy.
The pink cocktail on the left was tonight's project! It's a Strawberry Black Pepper Mojito. Again I put together a muddle...fresh mint leaves, fresh strawberries, lime, black pepper simple syrup and rum. Quite nice!
Simple syrups have been a little hobby lately. I learned the black pepper one in my Mixology class (info at: http://www.artofmixologyusa.com) and the fennel one I came up with on my own.
We had roasted veggies the other night with fennel bulb...I had fennel fronds left so those anise scented fronds went into a simple syrup. See the note below this recipe for simple syrup instructions.
Strawberry Black Pepper Mojito
- 3 fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 of a lime, cut into wedges
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 3/4 oz. black pepper simple syrup
- your favorite rum
- club soda
In a cocktail tin, muddle the lime, mint leaves and strawberries with the simple syrup until well pulverized. Add the rumand fill almost to the top with ice. Cap the shaker and shake until the tin is frosted. Strain into a Collins glass, top with club soda and serve with a a strawberry and a sprig of mint. Enjoy.
NOTE: To make simple syrup, combine 1 c. sugar with 1 c. water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil while stirring, reduce heat and simmer until sugar is totally dissolved. Add whatever you're adding to flavor the syrup and let it cool to room temp. Strain into a bottle with a cap and store in the fridge.
For black pepper simple syrup, use 1 T. (or more) of the pepper, crushed.
For fennel simple syrup, use the fronds (more or less, to taste) from 1 bulb of fennel.