As I may have mentioned in a previous article, I am a condo dweller. In many ways, I like condo living- I never have to paint, landscape, mow, replace a roof or any of the myriad of chores a homeowner enjoys. The trade-off being that I also am limited in what I can plant outside. Anything out back that is not on my porch is considered common area and property of the condo association, so I can’t put in a full-blown garden with rows and rows of fresh vegetables, and a huge patch of organically grown herbs. With that being said, I did get permission to arrange some containers outside my porch, and I now have a “container garden”. It is low yield and easy to maintain !! I get just enough crop yield to enjoy fresh vegetables through the summer, put some up, and use some to experiment with in cocktails !!
Here are a few fun “garden cocktails” !!
The Beet Twist
½ c of fresh beet juice (you can buy beet juice if your beets aren’t ripe yet !)
¼ c fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
4 tbsp rosemary infused simple syrup (recipe below)
3 oz Leopolds gin
Mix beet juice, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and gin together and pour into two ice-filled glasses.
Top off with soda water and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Feel free to adjust juice quantities according to personal taste.
**to make rosemary simple syrup-bring ½ c water and ½ c sugar to a boil along with two rosemary sprigs. Turn off heat, let steep for 10 minutes, strain and cool.*****
Cucumber Mint Gin Coolers
6 ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 cup cucumber cut into chunks, plus several thin slices, for garnish
12 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp sugar
¼ c fresh lemon juice
chilled club soda
In blender, combine cucumber chunks, mint leaves, lemon juice, and sugar. Puree until smooth.
Fill two glasses with ice. Add two ounces gin, and several cucumber slices to each glass. Fill the glasses to 2/3 full with cucumber mixture. Top with club soda and stir well. Garnish with fresh mint.
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 cups ice
4 ounces El Jimador tequila
2 ounces Cointreau
2 ounces fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
pinch of salt
1-3 tsp agave nectar
1-3 slices fresh jalapeno
optional garnishes: lime wedges, cilantro, avocado slices,
Add avocado, ice, tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, cilantro and salt to a blender. Pulse until smooth. Taste, and add agave nectar to sweeten, or jalapeno to add spice, if desired.
Serve in salt rimmed glasses. Garnish as desired.
Carrot Ginger Cocktail
1 ½ ounces Cruzan coconut rum
½ ounce Cruzan aged rum
1 ounce fresh squeezed carrot juice
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ ounce agave syrup
2 coins of sliced ginger
Muddle ginger in the bottom of cocktail shaker
Add ice to shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake well. Double strain (to remove ginger) into ice-filled high ball glass.
Garnish with carrot greens, lime zest, or carrot ribbons
Mama raised you to eat your vegetables. Now you can truthfully tell her you are getting a couple of servings of vegetables a day (and having a good time doing it !!)
Written by Richard Edwards. Permission to publish by The Local.