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We haven’t been home a lot this summer. What started as a simple pact to make a list of our favorite things to do in summer, put them on a calendar and then follow through has resulted in a very fun, very full sunny season.

cucumber mint

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Noooo, no no. It’s mid-August and I’ve been to waterparks, Alaska, a northwoods cabin, a downtown concert and several challenging (as in arduous, formidable, strenuous…hard) mountain bike trails. Aside from the bruises that I’m finally getting better at avoiding due to fewer falls into trees, rocks and well, my bike, it’s been fantastic.

I’ve kind of been ignoring FWF a bit amongst the traffic on the calendar. Also, the dust bunnies. I’m seriously considering inventing a floor mop that attaches gently to our dogs’ tails and then tossing treats throughout the house. I’m sure they’d be happy to help.

cucumber lemon mint tom collins

So in observance of national My House is Beyond Dusty and I’ve Been Serving Up Too Many Frozen Pizzas Day, let’s make a cocktail! One that is equal parts refreshing and inspiring. We’re going to throw some cucumbers and gin together, toss in a little mint and lemon, then fizzy it up. You game? I thought so.

cucumber tom collins with a fancy red striped straw

Think spa for a moment and recall that image of the pampered lady swathed in white towels and smothered in green mud with a layer of cucumbers hiding her peepers. Those green and white disks actually serve a purpose (what? really!).

Cucumbers are shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are also known to contain lignans (polyphenols found in plants) that have a strong connection with reducing risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types.

Toss them into salads, add a cuc to your favorite sandwich, stick some slices on your eyelids…another day…because today we’re incorporating them into a delicious libation.

Cucumber Tom Collins

adapted from wearenotmartha

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • mint, to garnish (maybe)

Have you made simple syrup before? It’s exactly as it sounds: simple, in that it’s equal parts sugar in water (wearing an Eggar suit…j/k…unless you’ve recently watched Men in Black and totally get the reference) boiled just enough to dissolve the sugar and stirred. Make it. It’s the real deal.

Slice your cucs up into thin slices. In the bottom of a glass, combine cucumber, lemon juice and simple syrup, then muddle together gently with a muddler or a spoon.

Chill your gin by shaking it with ice in your martini shaker. Seriously, unpack it and put it to good use. If you don’t have one, well, you’ll be adding extra ice, and that’s ok too, but if that first sip is slightly lukewarm don’t say I didn’t warn you. Strain (or pour) in your gin. Add fresh ice cubes.

Now here’s the part where I get to the above “maybe.” I tried this both with and without the mint garnish, and to be perfectly honest, the mint took over the cucumber and lemon. It’s like some crispness was lost and replaced with some earthy undertones I wasn’t looking for on the patio on a summer’s night in. Fancy-schmancy looking? Hell yes. Necessary? Heck no. I’ll be going sans mint on the CTC from this point forward and saving that deliciousness for the next mojito night.