Bermuda has now dipped into the humid months of the summer season where weekends can be spent napping away in the shade of a breezy tree or floating with friends in the ocean. Some days the humidity can climb up so high that I can be guilty of hiding out all day in the comfort of my air conditioned home. It’s crazy to think that coming from the West Coast of Canada, which can be grey and rainy for the majority of the year, I would dare stay indoors. However, Vancouver lately has been blessed with fantastic dry summer weather. From what friends back home have told me, the city has not seen a rainy day in weeks! When I used to live within blocks of Kitsilano Beach, I would plant my butt on the sand and not move until dawn soaking in as much sun as possible. Nowadays, on a Bermuda beach, you would find me hiding under a big umbrella, downing litres of water to keep myself hydrated while equally sweating out buckets. A dip in the ocean doesn’t grant much relief either…the average water temperature during this time is about 29°C!
When thinking about the summer heat and what to put in a drink to keep refreshed, cucumbers, mint, and citrus immediately come to mind. Muddling these ingredients together into a cup and adding something fizzy (and boozy if you wish!) makes for a great cool down. The mint-basil syrup is also an easy way to include the herbs in the cocktail without having all the leaves floating around in the cup.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Bunch of basil leaves
Bunch of mint leaves
Combine water, sugar and herb leaves in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Herb syrup will keep for one week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Cucumber Herb Cooler
Makes 2 drinks, or one tall boy!
1/2 of a cucumber 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 ounces of Hendricks gin * omit for a virgin drink.
2 ounces Herb Syrup
Extra Cucumber, Lemon or lime slices for garnish
Cut the cucumber in half, use a spoon to scoop the seeds out. Cut the cucumber into small pieces and puree in a processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve using a spoon to press down and extract as much juice as possible.
Combine cucumber juice, herb syrup and citrus juices and pour into 2 glasses. Add gin, ice and a splash of soda water.