Friday, July 15, 2011

Cucumber, Basil and TEQUILA (or virgin) Cooler

Tequila with Cucumber, Mint, Basil and Lime
Cool, summertime refreshment that reaches deep into the garden -- yours or someone else's -- starts with peeled, seeded cucumber, adds a handful of basil and a little mint, just a couple of other ingredients and produces a patio offering that will please you and your guests. Include a shot of tequila in the glasses of those who want the added kick, or substitute vodka if you prefer. Cheers!

Recipe: Cucumber, Basil and Tequila Cooler
(Makes 4 drinks)

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 - 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
Juice of 4 limes, divided
Simple syrup or other sweetener, such as blue agave syup, to taste
16 ounces Sprite or other lemon-lime soda (or plain soda water, if desired)
Ice cubes
4 shots of tequila (omit, if you want a "mocktail")
Cucumber slices and mint sprigs, for garnish

Place cucumber, basil, mint and juice of one lime in the bowl of a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Allow mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes ot longer if you have time. (Refrigerate if you are leaving it for more than 30 minutes.)
Put mixture through a fine colander or sieve, pressing on solids to get as much liquid out as possible. Discard solids.
Put liquid in a cocktail shaker or jar. Add remaining lime juice and sweetener and shake well. Taste for sweetness and add more syrup if desired.
Pour even amounts of liquid into four ice-filled glasses and top with lemon-lime soda. Stir in tequila and garnish with cucumber and mint.

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