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CUCUMBER-DILL INFUSED VODKA (AND COCKTAILS TO MAKE WITH IT)


We’re in the dog days of summer now: those relentlessly hot days when the sun beats down, the air barely moves and everyone’s just trying to stay cool. Don’t even think of turning on the oven!!

Instead, you can spend ten minutes on a Wednesday making Cucumber-Dill Infused Vodka, and by Friday afternoon you’ll be everyone’s hero when you bring out a tray of wonderfully cool and refreshing cocktails! (Even better if they’re accompanied by a delicious nibble or two.).


Instructions for Cucumber-Dill Infused Vodka

The process of infusing is a bit intuitive--it depends on your own taste. A rough rule of thumb is to use about one cup of fruit or veg per cup of vodka. For a stronger flavor use more cucumbers and dill or let it steep longer. But beware: dill is potent, so don’t go overboard. You want a balanced final product.


Ingredients for a Quart-Sized Jar:

2 cups cucumbers, sliced into 1/4"rounds (that's 4 to 5 Persian cucumbers)

Several stems of fresh dill (see photo)

2 to 2 1/2 cups vodka (any kind works; I use Titos--just don't spring for the really expensive stuff!)


Start with a clean glass jar. Large-mouth canning jars work well. Put cucumber slices and dill in the jar. Fill it up with vodka. Put a lid on it, shake it to mix, and put it in the refrigerator. (I told you it was less than 10 minutes!) Every day mix it again by gently shaking.

After two or three days sample it to check the flavor. When it’s perfect, strain the cucumbers and dill out of the vodka and start making cocktails!

How to Use Cucumber-Dill Infused Vodka in a Cocktail

For a Martini:

5 ounces of infused vodka

¾ ounce lime juice

1 tablespoon of agave nectar


Combine the three ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.

Shake for ten seconds, then pour into two martini glasses.

Garnish with a dill frond or cucumber slice.

(Makes 2 cocktails)

For a Vodka Soda:

5 ounces of infused vodka

¾ ounce lime juice

1 tablespoon of agave nectar


Mix the three ingredients together in a measuring cup.

Divide the above mixture into two ice-filled glasses.

Top it off with 2 ounces of club soda in each glass.

Garnish with lime or cucumber slice and a dill frond.

(Makes 2 cocktails)


For a Vodka Tonic:

Mix:

2 ounces of vodka

2 ounces of tonic

A squeeze of lime.


Garnish with a lime slice.

(Makes 1 cocktail)


Bloody Mary:

Imagine how good your favorite Bloody Mary will taste if you use cucumber-dill infused vodka! I’ll give you my recipe for that drink in a later post.

Notes:

-Vodka and gin are my favorites to infuse, mainly because those are what I especially like to drink. But you can also use the technique with tequila, rum and whiskey.


-Lots of things are good infused into vodka: pineapple; strawberries or peaches with basil or mint; figs with vanilla bean; ginger; lavender and rosemary, even garlic and habanero.


-As your infusion steeps in the refrigerator, you may notice that the fruit or veggies start to lose their color. Strawberries, for example will eventually turn white and the vodka will be pink. No worries--it's part of the process.


-When a cocktail recipe calls for simple syrup, you can substitute agave nectar. Just use half the amount, as the agave nectar is much sweeter.



 
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