Holy hot spike, Batman! We went straight from snow-covered daffodils to wilting tulips to hopeful tomato plants all in one day here in the Wasatch Mountains. Even broke some early spring temps records yesterday. In celebration (and yes, respite… I’m not quite ready for the 90s yet) I broke out some of my favorite summer flavors: cucumber, basil, and the floral melody of gin. I’ve wanted to try out some of my lovely salt collection for use on more than finishing pan-seared meats, roasted potatoes, and salad dressing. These salts I’ve gathered mostly at my local Tony Caputo’s Market – where they thoughtfully provide 99 cent sample cups of various and sundry goodness so those fickle souls such as I can dabble and snack before commitment. In this case, I used a finer-grained black Salish smoked sea salt on top of a cucumber-rubbed glass rim. Delightful. Yay for Spring! Or at least the 3 hours of it we got this year.
Cucumber Basil & Smoked black sea salt Martini
Freeze a martini glass, or add to the glass several cubes of ice to chill and set aside.
Just before assembling, rub ½ of the glass rim with the cut edge of a cucumber and dip into the smoked sea salt of your choice.
To a cocktail shaker, add:
1 small cocktail cucumber, sliced thin (about 4 slices of cucumber- reserve 1 slice for garnish)
4-5 leaves fresh basil
2 oz. very floral gin (I’m a fan of Broker’s for this cocktail)
½ oz. dry vermouth
4-5 ice cubes
Shake vigorously until well-frosted and frothy (about 15 seconds)
Strain into the chilled and salty goodness of that martini glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a sprig of baby basil.
Isn’t that refreshing?
Now, don’t y’all put away your parkas and gloves yet, my mountain friends. Just having made this cocktail guarantees we’ll have a freezing spell next week. I’ve got my towels ready to cover my ‘maters, just in case.
A friend on A Bourbon Gal’s Facebook page asked about the availability of cocktail cucumbers. I’ve seen them at most supermarkets, now (sometimes you find them in the ‘gourmet’ veggie section) and they’re also at our local Costco. They are about 5-6″ long, 1″ thick, and are thin skinned, so no peeling or seeding is needed! Fabulous! The only down side is they go bad FAST, so keep and eye on them or you’ll have a disgusting mess in the bottom of your produce bin. Guess you’ll just have to make more cocktails! You can also use about 1/2 of a regular cucumber, peeled and seeded.