Carpe Aestatem (Seize the Summer)

Carpe Aestatem (Seize the Summer)

It’s official – summer is here! After a long, frigid winter here in Chicago, we couldn’t be more excited to soak up some incredible summer rays! And here at This and That Kitchen, we firmly believe that nothing pairs better with a long, sun-soaked summer day than sitting out on the back porch with an incredible homemade cocktail in hand! That’s exactly why we decided to create this original cocktail that’s light, refreshing, and absolutely jam-packed with flavor – perfect for long days of summer sipping! And to us, the start of a new season is also incredibly symbolic – it represents the opportunity to start fresh and try something new. For us, that means trying to up our cocktail game by experimenting with new and interesting ingredients and flavors. And that’s exactly what we did with this recipe! By starting with ingredients and flavors that are common in the cocktail world – things like lime, ginger, and cucumber – and introducing less traditional ingredients like cilantro and Thai chili peppers, we ended up with a complex, balanced drink that is bright, sweet, spicy, and endlessly refreshing! Carpe Aestatem - Seize the Summer!

Ingredients:

For Cocktail:

  • 2 oz gin (we used Hendrick's!)
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz ginger simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 slices of cucumber,  quartered
  • 10 cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 of a Thai chili pepper
  • Pinch of salt

For Simple Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar (we use cane sugar!)
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. To make simple syrup, combine sugar, water, and ginger pieces in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring periodically to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. Let the syrup cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate - if stored properly, the syrup should keep for up to a month!

  2. Place cucumber, cilantro, Thai chili pepper, and ginger simple syrup in a shaker and muddle. 

  3. Add the gin, lime juice, and salt to the shaker and add ice. Tip: To make your life easier, try using a citrus press like this one!

  4. Shake and double strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a cucumber slice.

  6. Enjoy!

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