Oh, summer, you dreamy, fleeting, hot little minx. How is it you seem to go by faster every year? I will never understand the passage of time…no matter how many Neil deGrasse Tyson YouTube videos I watch. But what I DO understand is that we best make the most of it these next couple of weeks because soon everything will change! (Except in LA, apparently. It’s sort of summer all year round here. It makes for very confusing seasonal recipe testing!)
But we all know that Labor Day weekend really marks the end of summer. And if you’re anything like me, you like to stave off the summer blues and make sure to jam your entire summer’s worth in that one long weekend with multiple BBQs, out-of-town jaunts and outdoor frolicking. I will rule you, SUMMER! And the cocktail that everyone has settled into drinking by the end of the sunny season? It’s usually a pretty simple and refreshing one, like a Moscow Mule, Pimm’s Cup or Gin & Tonic. All of which were my inspirations for this Labor Day weekend cocktail, the equally simple and refreshing, Cucumber Ginger Iced Tea. The best part? It can be batched in a pitcher ahead of time so you don’t have to play bartender all weekend!
I was excited to make this with a local Los Angeles vodka that just recently came to town, Our/Vodka.
Our/Vodka was started in Sweden as a local/franchise distillery concept under the umbrella of Pernod Ricard. They started their first micro-distillery in Berlin and went on to open similar operations in Amsterdam, London, Seattle and Detroit. The Arts District in downtown Los Angeles is their sixth and latest location to open as part of the Our/Vodka brand family.
In each city they partner with local entrepreneurs to distill, blend and hand-bottle in their very own micro-distillery according to the same global recipe. But each city is able to create their own unique flavor profile, to an extent, by using different, locally sourced ingredients. The concept is fascinating. I would love to compare them all to see what differences can be detected. As for now, I’ll take the La La version in this cocktail! Enjoy! And have an amazing weekend!
Cucumber Ginger Iced Tea
8 cups cooled ginger tea, sweetened with 4 oz agave
1 750 ml bottle vodka
1 cup lemon juice
2 liters ginger beer
I cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
1 lemon, sliced into wheels
Pour the sweetened tea, vodka, and lemon juice into a large canister. Add the sliced cucumbers (leave some for garnish) and lemons. Let sit for about 20 minutes. When ready to serve, add ginger beer. Ladle over ice-filled Collins glass, garnish with cucumber.