As summer took its last faltering gasp, we hope, a refreshing cucumber and mint cocktail seemed to be just the right thing for outdoor dining last weekend at Lola Restaurant.
Nealy and Keith Frentz serve locally grown southern seasonal foods at Lola Restaurant in Covington. They also have a fine list of creative craft cocktails. Some like the Old Maid cocktail, are based on traditional drinks and others such as their blackberry basil martini have their signature touch. My takeoff on the blackberry basil martini is my blueberry basil martini which I urge you to try. Prosecco is usually used in these martinis to give the drink a little fizz and to boost the alcohol content. I like to add a little sparkling water and leave out the prosecco.
The Old Maid cocktail is a gin-based drink, however, I am thinking that it would also work with vodka and maybe even tequila. You will need a cocktail shaker and a muddler to prepare this drink.
Place the mint leaves and the cucumber slices in the shaker. Gently muddle them to release oils and flavors. Add the gin to the shaker. I prefer to use a dry gin such as white Bombay, Beefeaters, or Plymouth gin. Add a touch of simple syrup and some freshly squeezed lime juice to balance the dry with the sweet and the sour.
This cocktail can be served straight up, without ice, or on the rocks.
In any case, put a scoop of ice in the cocktail shaker and give it a few gentle shakes before pouring it into the glass of your choice. A lowball glass is recommended, Most importantly, don’t forget the garnishes. Several slices of fresh cucumber and a few sprigs of mint et voila! A votre sante and to the end of summer!