Cucumber-Mint Spritz

_MG_6431Ari and I are leaving tonight for a glorious 10 days in California (where I plan to have tacos in some way, shape or form at least once per day), but I wanted to share this very refreshing cocktail with you before I left. As you may have noticed, I'm having a bit of a love affair with gin at the moment, and I think that the herbal notes in the alcohol complement the mint and cucumber perfectly._MG_6432 _MG_6435

Serve this on a sweltering day as an alternative to a Tom Collins, and I'm sure I'll be wishing for one on the plane tonight.

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Cucumber Mint Spritz (makes 1 drink)

4-5 cucumber slices

5-6 mint leaves

1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

1 1/2 oz. gin

2 oz. club soda (or prosecco, if you're feeling saucy)

Muddle cucumber slices and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker until crushed. Add citrus juice, simple syrup and gin, then fill with ice and cover. Shake until very cold, about 1 minute, then strain into a lowball glass and top with club soda or prosecco. Garnish with a cucumber slice and mint leaf and serve immediately.

Rhubarb Gin Fizz

_MG_6280 Since it's almost Memorial Day weekend, I thought I would share a cocktail that you can make tonight – or for the next four days. Simple and yet impressive, thanks to the rhubarb-thyme syrup, and as boozy as you want to make it: you can make a non-alcoholic version with seltzer and the syrup on it's own, add gin, or use both gin and prosecco for the most fun alcoholic version of all. I didn't have any sparkling wine on hand when I made these (I know, terrible), so I stuck with seltzer and gin which was super refreshing.

_MG_6284Happy long weekend to you all – I hope it's filled with sunshine and barbecues, and of course, plenty of delicious cocktails!_MG_6291

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Rhubarb Gin Fizz (adapted from Baked Bree, makes 1 drink)

For rhubarb thyme syrup (makes about 1 1/2 cups):

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 1/4 cup rhubarb, trimmed and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir and cook until rhubarb is very soft, about 3 minutes. Strain through a mesh sieve into a small pitcher or container, and let cool. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

For cocktail:

1 1/2 oz gin

1 1/2 oz rhubarb-thyme syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

4-5 oz prosecco or club soda

Add gin, syrup and lemon juice to a highball glass and stir. Add ice, and pour over prosecco or club soda to fill.