Lemon Verbena Cucumber Gin Fizz

While I was visiting Philly a few weeks ago, I bought a lemon verbena plant. I'd never used lemon verbena before and my only other interaction with it was at Bath & Body Works. My sister was convinced the association would make anything flavored with lemon verbena taste like soap. So, instead of experimenting and potentially ruining an entire meal, I decided to start with something simple: a cocktail.

And, since it's Friday, methinks a cocktail is crazy appropriate.
10 lemon verbena leaves
2 mint leaves
3 slices cucumber
1 teaspoon sugar
2 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon juice
6 oz. soda water

My lemon verbena plant seems to be nice and hardy and producing lots and lots of leaves and now little flowers are blossoming.
Start with a bunch of lemon verbena leaves, a bit of mint, and a few cucumber slices in your mug.
Pour in some sugar and muddle to release the oils.

Pop in some ice and pour in a good glug of gin. If you're not really into gin, you could use clear rum or vodka but honestly, the herby flavors of gin go great with the lemon verbena and the mint and the cucumbers. It's a winner all around.
Top the drink off with some fizzy water.
Garnish with a slice of lemon and cucumber.
I also made a little garnish with a lemon wedge, some cucumber, and a sprig of lemon verbena.
It's the perfect drink for sipping outside on a warm day. It's fresh and verdant and perfectly sweet. The herbaceous bite of the gin is freshened up by the fragrant lemon verbena and I really love the way the cucumber rounds the whole drink out. It makes it really mellow and cooling.
I love how the mug gets all frosty because the drink is so cold and the weather's so warm. I'm also quite enjoying my own stooped over reflection in the mug. Oh, the things I do for food photography.


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