If you like to drink green for St. Patrick's Day and want to do it naturally you can't go wrong with fresh, organic cucumbers, fresh mint, limes and a really great gin. This is almost a classic flavor profile as mint and cucumber are often paired together, especially in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Add a little of that gin and you have the makings of a bracing, cool cocktail to enjoy.

I had a little fun with this one by slicing my cucumbers lengthwise and lining the glass with them before I added my large ice cubes. It made for a beautiful presentation.

If you have a set of aspic cutters with a shamrock shape it would be fun to cut some out of the mint leaves ahead of time for a great St. Patrick's Day touch. (I do and wish I'd thought of it before the photo shoot!)


2 Oz Hendrick's Gin
1/2 Oz Dry Vermouth
2-1/2 Oz Cucumber Juice
1/4 Oz Lime Juice
4 Mint Leaves
1-1/2 Oz Mint Honey Syrup
(* Recipe Below)

Additional Ingredients: 2 Large Square Ice Cubes, Cup of Regular Ice Cubes

Garnish: 8 - 10 Long Cucumber Slices, 3 Tall Mint Sprigs

Tools: Vegetable Peeler, Kitchen Shears, Mixing Glass, Barspoon, Hawthorne Strainer

Glass: Tall Glass Mug

Slice a fresh cucumber lengthwise with a vegetable peeler until you have 8 to 10 long slices.
Press the cucumber slices against the inside of the glass mug then add the ice cubes.
Trim the cucumber slices off at the rim of the glass with kitchen shears and chill glass in the fridge.
Juice the remainder of the cucumber and the 4 leaves of mint together and add to the cooled mixing glass filled with ice.
Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing glass, stir for one minute then stain into the chilled, cucumber lined mug.
Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.

Add 2 tablespoons of organic honey to 1 tablespoon of water and stir until the honey has completely dissolved. If your honey is stubborn, microwave the syrup for 10 seconds and mix until smooth.


MY DARLING CLEMENTINI - An Edible Calundula Flower and Citrus Cocktail

Edible flowers are a beautiful way to garnish a cocktail but they can also a great way to flavor one as well. Every spring I grow organic, edible flowers for creating spring and summer cocktail recipes and Calendulas are always the most robust of my plantings. When I recently picked up a huge bag of Clementine oranges from the local farmers market the first thing I decided to make was a floral cocktail featuring these beautiful, bright yellow flowers. When I got home I grabbed my juicer, my garden shears and also my bottle of homemade limoncello liqueur* and some triple sec to round out the citrus base and got to mixing up a new drink recipe.
Calundula petals have a spicy taste of pepper with a little touch of tang and bitterness which not only brought in floral notes but added the quality of a few drops of bitters so I not only garnished the cocktail with a Calendula blossom I also infused the simple syrup with some of the petals to bring in that peppery zing.
1-1/2 Oz. Limoncello
1/2 Oz. Triple Sec
2 Oz. Fresh Clementine Orange Juice
1 Tsp. Calendula Simple Syrup
(* Recipe Below)
Dash of Orange Bitters
Garnish: Long Clementine Twist, Edible Calendula Petals
Tools: Juicer, Vegetable Peeler, Cocktail Shaker
Glass: Cocktail (Martini)
Make the Calundula Simple Syrup and juice the Clementines.
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled.
Stain into the chilled cocktail glass, garnish with the Clemetine twist, a Calundula flower and a few extra Calundula petals.
Serve and enjoy on a beautiful spring evening.
2 C. Turbinado or Demerara Sugar
1 C. Water
Petals from 3 Calundula Flowers
Add the petals to a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
Heat the sugar and water on medium while stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.
Pour this immediately over the petals and allow to infuse until completely cooled.
Strain into a sterile, lidded glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
If the syrup crystallizes you can heat it up to remove the sugar crystals. 
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