Friday, July 30, 2010


It's shaping up to be a decent day today, hopefully yours is the same.  The weather looks fairly good.  The weekend is nearly upon us.  And, the new Arcade Fire album "The Suburbs" drops next Tuesday.  It will no doubt be the Soundtrack of the Week come Monday.  If you want an advance listen to the album, it can be found streaming here.

Today, we drink the Spa cocktail.  This is an extremely light cocktail, taste-wise, befitting of its name.

Spa, available at the New Amsterdam Gin website, here.

Mix this delectable cucumber martini on a summer day or as a complement to a soothing spa treatment. Smooth sailing.
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1 1/2 oz New Amsterdam Gin
1 oz spring water
1 teaspoon sugar
3 slices English cucumber
A splash of vanilla essence or violet liqueur
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Muddle the cucumber with sugar until the juice is extracted. Pour mixture into a cocktail shaker with all other ingredients. Add ice. Shake vigorously for about six seconds. Strain contents into a martini glass and garnish with a cucumber flower.

This is a particularly interesting cocktail because it's so light in flavor.  You'll taste the gin, and you'll certainly taste the cucumber and the small amount of sugar.  As a cocktail, it tastes like lightly sweetened water.  The name of the drink in many ways describes the experience you'll have with the cocktail - refreshing, clean, almost rejuvenating (insofar as you'll feel like a new person after 4-5 of these).

I'm trying to think of the occasions in which this cocktail makes sense.  I think it's too delicate for very hot weather, or a BBQ.  I think it'd likely make a great aperitif, because the subtlety may awaken the taste buds.  I suppose it would be a solid cocktail at a spa, but unless you have one at your home or you carry alcohol when visiting a spa, it's like out of the question.

The Spa cocktail is a bit of a surprise to me because I did not expect to like something quite so light in flavor.  Compared to something like scotch, this cocktail is light as air.  Give it a go if you want to try something a bit different.  Also, you may have noticed that I have Crème de Violette in the arsenal now.  In the near future, we'll be revisiting one of my favorite cocktails, the Aviation, to see if there is a discernible difference between using Crème de Violette and Parfait Amour to finish the drink. 

Have a great weekend!  We'll see you on Monday!  Salud!
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