Last week I shared green juice and flatbread pizza recipes that are perfect for using up farmers’ market or CSA box produce. This week, same goal, just add booze!
In honor of Earth Day (April 22), I used Prairie Vodka, carefully made right here in Minnesota from organic corn (gluten-free!). It’s a beautiful collaboration amongst farmers and distiller—absolutely check out their bucolic website to prove it. The vodka has a decidedly fruity bouquet, so I thought it would be fun to play with CSA box stalwarts mint, honey, and cucumbers—topped with bubbles of course—or a summer cooler.
Why am I writing about summer? Because I predict we will go from horizontal April snow straight to 90-degree May days, with nary a balmy 72 degrees in between, and I want you to be ready to press a cold bubbly tipple against your sweaty forehead. Also, I’m tired of complaining and am ready to just will this winter to be gone. So make this drink to hurry things up! And to celebrate the locally made, organic vodka, and the promise of summer so tantalizingly near.
And then tuck the recipe away for when you’re swimming in cukes, and mint has overrun your garden, and you’re blissfully complaining about damn Minnesota humidity. Because that’s how we do in the land where everyone is above average.
Cheers to Earth Day!
Summer Promise Bubbles
Makes 1 1/2 c. syrup
1 1/2 oz. Prairie Vodka
3 oz. honey-mint-cucumber syrup (recipe below)
1 c. honey
2 c. water
handful organic mint leaves & stems
1 6-inch organic cucumber, grated
pinch of sea salt
Simmer honey with water, chile flakes, and mint leaves until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, put grated cucumber in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let sit while syrup reduces.
When syrup is reduced, pour over the grated cucumber. Cool to room temperature, then strain into a jar and chill. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to two weeks.