CLB Punch : Drink this.

First post from my new(ish at this point) house! Also first post while in law school! I hope not to completely abandon blogging ... I have a great pavlova recipe that I need to get out while peaches are still in season. But this post is about drinking, not eating! Onward!

So, based on a variety of gin concotions I have enjoyed at bars all over Portland, I came up with a refreshing summer punch that seems to be a hit with everyone who tries it, regardless of their gin proclivities. It seems to have appeal regardless of age or gender. I can say this having served it to men and women aged twentysomething to sixtysomething, including visiting parentals, all of whom make the comment, whoa, this is really good!  A gorgeous greenish iced punch, it is named for three of the main ingredients, cucumbers, lime and basil.

This punch sneaks up on you. Prepare yourself with snacks. 

You can make this glass by the glass or in quantity. I have never made more than 4 glasses worth at a time, because that would be a muddling nightmare. But don't let my fears stop you!

Get yourself these items:

Enough limes to squeeze 1/4 cup juice into each glass. If you don't have a juicer yet, stop by your local grocery store and buy one for $5 or less, your hands will thank you.

A fresh bunch of basil, from the farmer's market, your garden, or the store. Pro-tip: store basil in a glass of water, do not refrigerate. It shrivels quickly.

Cucumbers. One large cucumber will make two batches of 4 glasses each. Summer is the time of year for giant cucumbers, so  if you're just making this for one or two, one will probably be fine.

Gin. You need a gin that has an affinity to cucumbers. That gin is not Gordon's or Beefeater. That gin is Aviation (Portland local) or Hendrick's. Really, your tastebuds will thank you. There is a lot of thanking yourself going on in this post today, no?

You also need sugar, soda water, ice, pint glasses, and the very important muddler, which you can get at any kitchen store I'm sure.

In the pictures here, I'm making enough for four pint glasses, which, if math troubles you, equals 1 c of lime juice, 12 1/2 inch quartered cucumber rounds, 24-40 basil leaves, and about 12 Tablespoons (that's about 3/4 cup) of sugar. The directions, trickily enough, are for one glass at a time. I hope you can make these directions work for your needs:

Begin by juicing your limes and cutting your cucumbers into half inch rounds that you then quarter. Two or three quartered rounds are appropriate for each glass.Drop them in the glass (or bowl, if you're making in quantity)

Next, tear off some basil leaves, and drop about 6-10 leaves, depending on size, in each pint glass. Pour some sugar on top of this. Use regular granulated sugar, because it's more abrasive on the basil and cucumber. If you need a measure, I'd say start with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. 
You can always add more later if it's too tangy. So anyway, muddle your little heart out, crushing the basil, cucumbers, and sugar together.

Once you've sufficiently pulverized these together, pour over your 1/4 cup of lime juice (or cup if in quantity).

Stir. Taste to see if it's too tart. Add in about an ounce and a half of gin, more or less to taste. Stir.

Fill your glass with ice to the top, then top off with soda water, I call this fuzzy water. Add a straw, give it a swirl, and drink up. Your sweaty summer self will thank you. Drink soon, fall approaches.

PS: Got a better name for this drink? Help me name it! There's a treat in there for you if I choose your suggestion, I just haven't decided what yet :)  --T