A play on the classic gin fizz, with cucumber infused gin and a splash of soda, this is a perfectly refreshing drink for those summer barbecues, family gatherings or romantic evenings with the sunset.
I like to make my own infused spirits. Cucumber has such a refreshing taste it is perfect for this light drink. I poured gin into a sealable container. Added slices of cucumber, sealed the jar and let it sit at room temperature for about 4 days. After 1 day the cucumber flavor starts to come through but the longer you leave the slices in there, the stronger the flavor. The gin will also start to turn green. So depending on how strong you want the flavor, how long you leave it is up to you.
A fun element to this drink, and to enhance the cucumber flavor, I made cucumber ice cubes. I came across these round ice cube molds and thought it would be a great idea to put a ball of cucumber inside the ice cube so as the ice cube melts, instead of just water melting into the drink, you get more cucumber flavor. Tip: to get clear ice cubes, boil filtered water, allow to cool, boil again, cool and add to ice cube trays.
Cucumber gin fizz print
- 4 ounces cucumber infused gin * see note for recipe
- 2 ounces triple sec
- Soda water
- 2 cucumber ice cubes ** see note for recipe
- 2 slices of cucumber for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the cucumber infused gin and triple sec, shake for 10 seconds.
- Pour into a chilled martini glass.
- Add a cucumber ice cube and top up with soda water.
- Garnish with a slice of cucumber.
* Pour 4 ounces of gin into a sealable container. Add 4 slices of cucumber, seal and let sit at room temperature for up to 4 days.
** Using a mellon baller, scoop a round of cucumber. Add to an ice cube tray and fill with water and freeze.
You know when you make a grilled cheese sandwich and there’s always some the of cheese that oozes out and browns in the pan? That’s what these cheddar caprese bites taste like.
I had some extra cheddar cheese in the fridge that I needed to use. I was thinking about the parmesan frico crisps that I made in a previous post and thought, there’s nothing better than melted crispy.
If you’ve ever had a caprese salad, you know that it’s traditionally made with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato and fresh basil. This was my inspiration for these bites and the mozzarella is replaced by the crispy cheddar so you can pick them up and eat them as appetizers.
They take just minutes to make, but you might have restrain yourself from eating them as you make them. I melted mounds of cheddar cheese on a baking sheet in the oven. When they are cooled, they become great, sturdy vessels for toppings. I topped them with a slice of sweet tomato, freshly chopped basil and a balsamic glaze. They are what can only be described as a taste sensation.
Cheddar caprese bites print
Ingredients (yields 16 bites)
For the cheddar caprese bites
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
- 4 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
- Small bunch fresh basil, chopped
For the balsamic reduction
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
For the caprese cheddar bites
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take half of the grated cheddar and place in circles on the baking sheet about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until melted and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.
- Removed when cooled.
- Repeat with the other half of the cheddar.
For the balsamic glaze
- In a medium saucepan, add the balsamic and stir in the honey.
- Bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat.
- Simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the vinegar has reduced by 1/2, keep an eye it and check until it has the consistency of molasses.
- Pour into a container for drizzling.
- Arrange the pieces of melted cheddar on a platter, top with a slice of tomato, a pinch of chopped basil and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
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