Yes, I’m definitely still trying to get a few summer cocktails pushed out before the official “chill” sets in. Thus, here’s a cucumber mojito for your end-of-summer cocktail party. (If you need my address so you can send me an invite, just holla.)
Last week, I went up the street to the little farmer’s market that shows up every Thursday. There was an older, Southern man there who was selling tiny vegetables, so OF COURSE my love-for-tiny-things-radar immediately detected him. I can barely understand the people around here who speak with a REAL Southern accent. Do you know what I mean? Like the thick, mumbling, random-inflections-on-words-I-can’t-comprehend kind of Southern? Well, that’s what this guy spoke. And I absolutely ate it up.
Obviously, I immediately loved him. Not only because he was selling tiny vegetables, but because he’s one of those genuine Southern gentlemen who is just literally oozing with a love for life, farming, and people. It’s just a beautiful thing, and it makes me so freaking happy to meet people like that.
So, we talked for probably five minutes (or rather, he talked and I desperately tried to pick up on a few key words in order to make sense of his stories), and he ended up giving me just a shitload of tiny vegetables. “One dallah”, he said. I was like “Umm … what?! I have like an ENTIRE pound of these tiny vegetables that you had just lovingly organized into an unintentionally-endearing-pattern across your plastic table just minutes before I walked up to you…”
“Oh, just one dallah”.
“Here’s two dollars. Can I give you more?”
“No ma’am. But here’s one of mah faaaaay-vor-ite cucumbahs, but this one is just so big he ain’t too normal. You go on an’ take ’em.”
*insert crying emoji*
Perfect. I’m going to make a cucumber mojito with this abnormally large (yet still very tiny) cucumber. AND I’m going to remember this interaction for at least the remainder of the year. I’ve got some fresh mint growing on my little urban herb garden at my apartment, so it’s going to feel like a locally-grown collaboration once this majestic cocktail comes together.
AND IT DID. I’m so serious when I say that using local, fresh produce is so damn rewarding. Even though that wonderful Southern farmer wouldn’t allow me to give him any more than two dollars, at least those two dollars went straight into his pocket. No heartless middleman taking one of those dollars before paying the farmer. No big corporation messing with his tiny vegetable garden. Just a gorgeous human being, who lovingly grows tiny vegetables, selling his tiny vegetable crop to the residents of his community.
Life is so literally so beautiful sometimes. It’s truly the little things that just keep me going everyday. So cheers to you, cheers to local farmers, and cheers to the end of summer. Make one of these bad boys and raise a toast to the hard-working generations before us, who still bust their asses to grow fresh crops for us each and everyday. Those people are the people who really deserve it all.
- 6-9 fresh mint leaves
- 4 1/2" thick slices of fresh cucumber
- 1 oz. honey simple syrup
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 oz. silver rum
- soda water (to top it off)
- Cut the cucumber slices down into smaller chunks. Throw all of the cucumber chunks and a small handful of mint into a cocktail shaker. Muddle them like you mean it for about thirty seconds, until there's significant cucumber juice and the mint leaves are very smashed and torn.
- Add honey simple syrup, lime juice, and rum to the cocktail shaker. Fill it with a handful of ice, cap it, and shake vigorously for at least fifteen seconds. Break that ice up and crush that mint and cucumber even more.
- Fill an old fashioned glass with a handful of crushed ice. Strain the drink over the ice, and top it with a bit of soda water for effervescence.
- Garnish with a fresh cucumber slice and fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!