This drink is a long standing house favorite. We originally intended to use it for “Ring of Fire” in the house cocktail book, but none of the off-the-shelf cucumber vodkas we tried measured up and infusing the vodka, as we do here, just did not seem practical for our guests.
The cocktail is also a good example of how rims and garnish are often an integral part of the experience. By itself, the drink is light and refreshing, but not particularly memorable. But add the spicy rim and you can’t muddle them fast enough to keep up with demand!
- Wet the rim of a Martini glass with a small piece of cucumber
- Roll the outside rim of the glass in Cayenne Sugar* then place the glass in the freezer to chill
- Peel a cucumber, remove the ends, coarsely chop 1/2, and place the pieces in a large shaker tin
- Add 12 medium size seedless green grapes
- Muddle the grapes and cucumber pieces to a coarse pulp
- Add 2 oz of Cucumber Infused Vodka**
- Fill the shaker with ice, close it, and shake hard for 30-35 seconds (the shaker should be very cold in your hands)
- Double strain with a full sized second strainer into the chilled glass
- Carefully pour the remaining ice and solids into the second strainer
- Gently press the solids with a Hawthorne strainer or muddling stick to release a bit more liquid into the glass
- Put 6 Tbsp of sugar in a jar
- Add 1/4 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
- Seal the jar and shake for 5 seconds
If the rim is too spicy for your tastes, add 1 or 2 additional Tbsp of sugar.
**Cucumber Infused Vodka
- Peel 3 large cucumbers
- Remove the ends and cut the cucumbers up into small spears (1/12 of a cucumber is a good spear size)
- Place the cucumber spears into a 2 quart pitcher
- Add 3 cups of Ketel One vodka
- Cover and refrigerate for 5 days
- Strain through a paper coffee filter
- Store in glass and keep refrigerated (should last 1-2 months)