This pretty English Garden Cocktail of cucumber gin, apple juice and mint is a one-unit cocktail, a perfect light tipple for pre-dinner drinks.
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I mentioned last week that making bread is a simple pleasure that I don't get around to nearly often enough, and making really good cocktails falls into the same category.
Digging out the cocktail shaker, measuring the ingredients carefully, shaking over ice, straining into beautiful glasses, and going a bit overboard on the 'garnish art'.... cocktail making is fun, and I really should do it more often.
Thebar.com is a brilliant website full of really excellent cocktail recipes to suit every taste and budget. You can search by what's in your cupboard, lower-calorie cocktails, one-unit cocktails and even alcohol-free 'mocktails'.
This English Garden Cocktail comes from their collection of one-unit cocktails, perfect for those who are trying not to go overboard after "Dry January' (like us!), or looking for a healthier option. It would make a perfect pre-dinner-party cocktail too, if you're serving wine with dinner and want just a light tipple before the meal.
I love the quintessentially English flavours of this cocktail - cucumber gin, apple juice and mint, with a squeeze of lime juice. It tastes clean and fresh, an English garden in a glass - perfect for an alfresco drinks party in the summer, but just as good on a drizzly February evening!
What do I need for my English Garden Cocktail?
Gin I used Gordon's Crisp Cucumber Gin but you can use any gin of your choice. If you like the subtle flavour of cucumber, add a slice of cucumber to your cocktail shaker.
Apple juice I like to use a fresh, cloudy apple juice as both its flavour and colour are so much nicer than apple juice from concentrate. This is the ingredient with the biggest volume so your choice of apple juice will really influence the finished cocktail.
Lime juice You get roughly 30ml (2 tablespoons) of juice from a standard sized lime, so 20ml is not-quite-all of a full juiced lime. An easy way to measure it is 1 tbsp + 1 tsp - to save getting out a measuring jug!
Sugar syrup To make a quick and easy sugar syrup for cocktails, simply pour the same volume of sugar and water (1:1 ratio) in a bottle, and shake vigorously until fully dissolved. I tend to do this with 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp water, and end up with a little left over for one cocktail as below. You can make a sugar syrup thicker by reducing it in a saucepan over heat, but for a single-serving cocktail like this I find a simple sugar syrup like this works absolutely fine.
Fresh mint This really makes the cocktail taste like a garden - you can add more than 1 leaf if you wish!
Cucumber To garnish the side of the glass, simply cut a cucumber slice 3-4mm thick, then make a slit into the centre. Push onto the rim of your glass.
A cocktail shaker really helps for mixing the ingredients and ice. I like this Press & Pour Shaker from OXO Good Grips, but a really straightforward shaker will work just fine.
If you don't have a cocktail shaker, a jam jar with a lid makes a good substitution!
What other easy cocktails can I make?
....or take a look at these recipes from blogging friends:
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English Garden Cocktail
- 25 ml Gordon's Crisp Cucumber Gin or gin of your choice
- 50 ml Apple Juice
- 20 ml Lime Juice
- 20 ml Sugar Syrup
- 1 leaf mint
- 1 slice cucumber
- Fill a shaker with ice.
- Add Gordon's Crisp Cucumber, apple juice, lime juice and sugar syrup to the shaker.
- Shake until cold.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a mint leaf.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by thebar.com