Cucumber Cocktails

Bonkers Awesome Grapefruit Cucumber Cocktail from Joy the Baker

Bonkers Awesome Grapefruit Cucumber Cocktail from Joy the Baker

Stay cool as a cucumber this summer with a cucumber cocktail … or two. Whether your garden is overflowing with these little guys or you pick some up at the market, they’re a  light and lovely addition to summer drinks.

Cucumber Mojito ~ Take the classic cool Mojito and add the refreshing power of cucumber.

Eastside Rickey ~ If you’re more of a gin person, then this cucumber-enhanced cocktail would be a good choice if you’re in the mood for a summery Mojito-like drink.

Cucumber Margarita ~ Pair this one with a warm summer night and a spicy meal on the patio.

Bonkers Awesome Grapefruit and Cucumber Cocktail ~ Cucumber’s delicate flavor is combined with grapefruit and ginger beer for an exciting gin cocktail.

Cucumber and Basil Slush ~ This frozen vodka cocktail shows off the way cucumber and basil are the perfect pair.

Fresh Tomato Cocktails

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I have three tomato plants fully loaded with sweet summer tomatoes. I never ever get sick of fresh tomatoes, but I’m always looking for new ways to use them in food … and cocktails. Aside from the Bloody Mary, there are many other ways to drink your tomatoes. Here are some recipes for garden-fresh tomato cocktails.

La Tomatina ~ Though this gin drink shares a few ingredients with the Bloody Mary, the addition of sherry gives it a unique character.

Tomato Martini ~ This recipe offers a slightly sweet twist on the classic Martini by using tomato-infused gin and adding a splash of Lillet.

Tomato Margarita ~ Fennel salt on the rim is a nice touch for this sweet and savory summer take on the Margarita.

Tomato Gin Cobbler with Peaches and Basil ~ Peaches and basil are summer’s other amazing flavors, so it makes sense that they’d mix together so well for a refreshing summer drink.

Heirloom Tomato Mojito ~ Tequila, tomatoes, basil and a touch of balsamic vinegar transform this warm-weather classic into a whole new cocktail.

Photo by Jackson Stakeman

DIY Strawberry Liqueur

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Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh strawberries. If you’re looking for another way to include strawberries in your life (and your cocktails), try this homemade strawberry liqueur. It’s super-easy and super-good. I like to use it in Sangria.

DIY Strawberry Liqueur

8 ounces strawberries, roughly sliced
1 sprig fresh tarragon (optional, but highly recommended)
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Steep strawberries and tarragon with vodka for two days. Strain and then filter the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Press down to extract as much liquid as possible. Then, bring water and sugar to a boil. Once that syrup is cool, combine it with the strawberry-tarragon vodka mixture. Let the combination rest for at least one day. Refrigerate, if desired. Store for up to two months.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column

Plum Margarita

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Armed with a bagful of plums fresh off the tree and a need for a frozen cocktail, Savvy Housekeeping and I blended up some refreshing plum Margaritas … and you should, too! This recipe makes one, but double (or triple) up to make more! You will want more.

Plum Margarita

Three plums (halved, pitted and frozen)
2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce triple sec
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Photo by Savvy Housekeeping