Cocktail: Cucumber Cape Codder

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m not a cocktail maker. And I’m certainly not a cocktail drinker. When I do drink them, it gets sloppy fast if there is more than one. I’m the girl in the corner with the beer or wine—that’s typically a much better option for me.

Cucumber Cape Codder

Cucumber Cape Codder

Someone who does love her cocktails is Martha Stewart. And when I say Martha, I mean the corporate entity that is Martha (I’m not privy to Martha’s personal drinking habits, sorry). Martha will, on occasion, publish some very tasty cocktail suggestions. There’s one that Jennifer and I have actually named The Martha Stewart—it’s a tequila, ruby red grapefruit and lime juice concoction that’s too delicious. Then there was the coconut margarita from years back—way delicious.

Our latest Martha Stewart cocktail discovery is the Cucumber Cape Codder. Cucumber and cranberries—not a combination you’d see even on the Thanksgiving table, but it’s one that certainly works in a cocktail glass.

Cucumbers have that “refreshing” quality, hence why ladies put them on their eyelids while sipping cucumber water in spas. But let the cucumber simmer in a simple syrup and add ice and vodka — well, that’s real refreshment.

Let’s not ignore the fact that this cocktail is damned beautiful, too. Just look at it!

Cucumber Cape Codder

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups grated English cucumber, plus thick slices for garnish
9 oz. vodka, chilled (isn’t it always chilled?)
12 oz. non-sweetened cranberry juice
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)

-Bring sugar and water to a boil. Turn down to simmer and stir until sugar dissolves.
-Remove from heat and stir in the grated cucumber. Let it cool.
-Once cool, strain through a fine sieve into a bowl or container, and discard the solids.
-Combine the cucumber syrup, vodka, cranberry and lime in a 2-qt. pitcher.
-To serve, pour over ice and cock that cucumber slice on the glass for a touch of fanciness.

I’m thinking Fridays might become Martha Stewart Cocktail Day. That’ll definitely be a good thing.

What’s your favorite fun cocktail, Martha Stewart or otherwise? Leave me a note below.

Hello, ‘cello

January 5, 2011 § 5 Comments

Sunshine in a bottle.

'cellos give any gathering a citrusy kickoff

That pretty much describes the essence of lemoncello and orangecello (and limecello and … ), that quintessential citrus aperitif  of Italy. (Did I just say “quintessential”? Who am I?)

In Dainty-speak, these ‘cellos rock it. For a bunch of reasons:

  • They give alcohol a tasty, refreshingly clean kick in the pants.
  • They bring back memories of an awesome tour through the Amalfi Coast. (Never been? It’s a must.)
  • And, best yet, they can be made at home – no distillery needed. That’s brilliant!

Not that I’ve made ‘cellos, of course. But they’ve been given to me, as recently as this past holiday. It was a double gift – lemoncello and a blog post in the making. I like that.

During our New Year’s festivities in Provincetown, where 11 compadres destroyed convened on our friends’ home, Karen gave out a bottle of the liquor – made in her very own kitchen – to everyone in the crowd, with a spare to give New Year’s Eve a celebratory kick start.

The goods:

  • 12 decorative bottles purchased at The Christmas Tree Shops (i.e. inexpensive and cute!)
  • 100% proof good-quality vodka, enough to fill said bottles
  • oranges and lemons (how many? she didn’t tell me), zested separately

The low-down:

  • Soak the zests (one batch orange, one batch lemon) in the alcohol for four to five days
  • Strain out zest and discard
  • Add simple syrup* to infused alcohol
  • Bottle and insert cork!

You’re wondering, “Yo, dude, what’s the ratio of alcohol to simple syrup?” I had the same question. Here’s a direct quote from the ‘cello maker herself:

“The mixture of alcohol and simple syrup is a matter of taste and courage … the more you mix, the sweeter and lower alcohol content you have. The less you mix, the more lethal it becomes!”

Gift-giving tip

Karen made both lemoncello and orangecello. Which bottles contained what? The ribbed bottles were filled with one flavor, the bumpy bottles had another flavor.

*A simple simple syrup recipe: Boil together 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar until sugar is dissolved. Cool. You’re done. Make more or less depending on how much you need. Keeps for a few days in the fridge.

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