Here I am again on Saturday morning with my Friday Cocktail. What the heck Barb…what’s going on? Well too much apparently! It’s all about my yard and spring and new trees and how they are taking up all of my time…but it was an absolute necessity; pretty much the same way this Hendrick’s Cucumber Southside was when I finished with work last night. A Southside is basically a gin Mojito and changing it up with Hendrick’s is most definitely the way to go.
I left a beautiful yard and extensive gardens when I moved to this house a little over 2 years ago. All lovingly planted by moi over a period of over 20 years. Minimal grass, xeriscape perennials and a small water feature all designed for maximum impact and minimal watering. Fast forward to a new home on a postage size lot and I’m starting over except it’s really worse than starting over. There is a swath of grass but it is surrounded by rock, rock and more rock all sitting on top of hard clay. A gardener’s nightmare. More desert landscaping to conserve water, not xeriscaping. I thought I could handle it and was done with backbreaking gardening. I was wrong.
I’ve completely redone the front yard; pulling out plants put in by the builder and replacing them with specimens both prettier and more water conservative From 8 plants to 29 even…yikes. I’ve raked rock til I can barely move but I’m trying to get it isolated in a couple of places and then I’m putting in plants and filling in areas with bark mulch; so much more pleasing to the eye. The front now has lavender and yarrow and day-lilies combined with some grasses and new shrubs and while the yard will always be small; now I’m hoping it will also grow to be lovely.
That leaves the backyard. I had hoped to plant some trees last year but it rained for what seemed like 6 weeks straight last spring and by the time the ground was dry enough to plant the weather was also too hot…so I waited. This year it HAD to happen and last weekend was D-Day. Dig Day. Thankfully I’m blessed to have the best neighbors and some guys that offered to help me get the trees in. I don’t mean Home Depot trees; I mean 350 pound root-ball trees. They may never speak to me again but the deed is done, the trees are in and now I’m doing a nightly ritual that includes the words ‘GROW TREES!!’
So in a nutshell…blogging has taken a backseat; like 3 rows back. I did a post this week that was one I wanted to re-publish after first doing it years ago. I had planned to update with new photos but that never happened. I wanted to get this post for the Hendrick’s Cucumber Southside sent out in time for your after work cocktail enjoyment on Friday and well…you see how that went right? But this is such a great, crisp, refreshing cocktail that it’s not just for Friday; it’s for all weekend long. And if you think of gin and think Christmas trees, think again. Hendrick’s has changed all of that.
The roster of botanicals in Hendrick’s includes cucumber and rose petal, which makes it the perfect companion for this incredibly yummy cucumber-infused summer cocktail. Much less juniper-forward than most gin brands, it brings a completely new element to gin based cocktails. If you have a friend who insists they don’t like gin because it feels like they are drinking a Christmas tree; you must have them try this drink. It is simply fantastic.
So, whether you’re like me and killing yourself in the yard and need a break and something cold to sip on or you’re just laying in the hammock with a book and enjoying the warmer weather, this would be the perfect libation. It really tastes and feels like summer in a glass. Cheers!
Hendrick’s Cucumber Southside
- 1.5 oz Hendrick's Gin
- .75 oz fresh Lemon Juice
- .75 oz Simple syrup
- 3 cucumber wheels
- 5-6 leaves fresh mint
- Cucumber Wheel
- Mint Sprig
- Muddle all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until ice cold. Pour into chilled coupe or martini glass.
- Garnish with a cucumber wheel and sprig of mint.