Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tito's Cucumber Martini

Tito's Cucumber Martini

Just about everybody is going to be talking about tequila cocktails today, but I've got an alternative that still tastes appropriate for your Cinco de Mayo festivities, made with vodka.

I'm generally not really a big fan of vodka. I find it an underwhelming spirit that doesn't add much but alcohol content to cocktails. But every now and then you get a cocktail with so many great flavors in it that you almost don't want to corrupt it too much with anything but a clean, smooth vodka. I think that's what Tito's had in mind when they developed this cocktail.

Green Tabasco Sauce

Most vodka drinkers I know agree that Tito's Vodka is a spectacular quality for the price, so I happily made it my vodka of choice. This recipe is right off their website, and it's a favorite of mine. Calling it a "cucumber martini" isn't inaccurate, but it kind of misses the best things about this drink. While the cucumber in this recipe is great, it's the cilantro and the green Tabasco that really make it. You could serve a perfectly good cucumber martini with just the vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and muddled cucumber, but the cilantro adds depth and the Tabasco sauce this hint of savor and spice that move this concoction out of the realm of "perfectly good" and into surprisingly sophisticated territory.

Double Strain

One instruction that is important in this cocktail and in most others that involve muddling anything: double-strain. You're still going to get lots of little pieces of cucumber and cilantro through the shaker, and you don't want those floating around in the finished product. You should also double strain if, like me, you tend to get citrus pulp in your lime and lemon juice.

Speaking of lemon juice, the original recipe for this cocktail violated GarnishGirl's First Rule of Mixology (never have more simple syrup than citrus juice in a cocktail), so I reduced the sweetener to make it more to my taste.

Tito's Cucumber Martini

Tito's Cucumber Martini

2 oz. Tito's vodka
3/4 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3 slices cucumber (plus one for garnish)
Handful of fresh cilantro
3 drops green Tabasco sauce

Muddle cucumber and cilantro in a shaker. Add vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice. Shake until well chilled. Double-strain into a cocktail glass. Add three drops of Tabasco on top.

Recipe adapted from Tito's Handmade Vodka.

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