I don’t know about the rest of the world, but it is starting to feel like spring in Chicago! The weather has taken a turn for the warmer and I’ve been able to run outdoors, wear only a spring jacket and ditch my winter boots for lighter options. Does anyone else feel like their mood and preferences are totally dependent on the weather outside? If it’s warm and sunny, you can bet I’m craving a margarita – and in the colder months, I’m most likely curled up at home with an old fashioned.
Inspired by the sunshine and positive vibes that Chicago seems to be bundled up in lately, we wanted to create a drink that was just as cheerful. It also helps that we’re heading to Jamaica to celebrate my sister’s wedding in less than two months – so it’s really quite easy to get lost in warm, sunny daydreams. Recently, I’ve become a gin convert. I loved it in university but after a few too many nights drinking a bottle of lemon gin and waking up in a still-drunk stupor, I fell off the bandwagon – and didn’t hop back on for a very long time.
A lot has changed since those years of Thursday – Sunday partying, and now I look to cocktails that will help me unwind (without becoming completely undone). I’ve recently been on a gin and tonic kick because there’s nothing I love more than a simple, delicious cocktail that takes literal seconds to create. J – the true cocktail master in our house – wanted to concoct something for me that was fresh and light on the palate while still sticking to my cocktail principles of simple and quick-to-assemble. Knowing I’m a sucker for cucumber and elderflower beverages (and basically anything reminiscent of a summertime garden), he created this delicious gin rickey to enjoy while soaking up the Midwest sun. AND I AM SO. THANKFUL. FOR. IT. YUM.
We’re currently getting ready to move across the city and I see this cocktail as a nice treat during a packing break. If we can’t be outside enjoying the beautiful weather, we’ll pretend we are from our fortress of cardboard boxes with a gorgeous elderflower, cucumber gin rickey in hand.
The cocktail calls for:
- 2 oz gin
- .5 oz elderflower tonic
- two thick slices of cucumber (+1 thin slice for garnish)
- juice of 1/2 lime
- Drop cucumber slices in the base of a cocktail shaker, muddle until it is quite mushy.
- Toss in ice (we use the large cube ones).
- Pour 2 oz of gin, .5 oz of elderflower tonic and lime juice over ice.
- Shake your shaker for 30 seconds.
- Once it’s shook (isn’t that what the kids say? ha!), grab your strainer and pour into a tumbler. Add your cucumber garnish to the rim of the glass.
- Picture a warm beach in the Caribbean and enjoy!
Right now it feels like we have so much to look forward to: a trip to Jamaica in the near future, a move to our favourite Chicago neighbourhood in the even nearer future and summertime Chi just around the corner. We are feeling very content and I hope this cocktail helps you feel just as happy (and warm)!