Lush Life: A Cucumber, Jalapeno and Cilantro Cocktail
In the world of mixology, the love-hate relationship with ice cubes has been around as long as bartenders and blocks of ice. Can't drink with them, can't drink without them. But at ONE. Midtown Kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia, bar manager Dawn Jones has found a way to work with her frozen friends: For Springtime in Baja, her new garden-to-glass cocktail, she's concocted a cilantro ice cube that both cools down the drink and infuses it with flavor.
"Making the cilantro ice cubes is a very easy process. I blanch, strain then soak the cilantro in an ice bath before blending it with water," Jones says. "I use King Cubes, which you can find at any specialty cooking store or online. They melt more slowly than the regular size and don't water down the drink so fast. As the cubes start to melt, it changes the whole flavor of the drink and gives it a refreshing, summery flavor and great aroma."
Springtime in Baha
- 2 ounces cucumber-infused tequila*
- ¼ ounces jalapeno tincture*
- ½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ ounce agave syrup
- Cilantro ice cube*
- Cucumber ribbon for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into a Collins glass. Add the cilantro ice cube and a ribbon of cucumber.
For the cucumber-infused tequila:
- 4 cucumbers, large
- 750 ml bottle of tequila
Peel the cucumber, slice vertically and throw them in with the tequila. Let them sit in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks. Roll the container around every couple of days to mix the flavors.
For the jalapeno tincture:
- 5 jalapenos
- Grain alcohol
Cut the jalapenos, remove the seeds and barely cover them with grain alcohol in a Mason jar. Soak for about 2 days. This makes a potent mix; taste the mixture every day until it gets to the potency you like.
For the cilantro ice cube:
- 2 bunches cilantro
Blanch the cilantro in simmering water for about 30 seconds, strain it into a sieve or colander then transfer to an ice bath to keep the nice green color. It only needs to soak about a minute in the ice. Then transfer it to a blender and cover with water. Blend thoroughly until all the stems are broken up completely. Then fill the blender with water and blend again for about a minute to ensure everything is mixed together.