Hallelujah, it’s Friday.
Double Hallelujah —> Thai Lime Leaf Coolers for happy hour!
I’m really excited to share this recipe with you today! Almost as excited as I am for the weekend, which is *this close* to being here.
Which is why I will be implementing stress-relief plan A:
That’s right, booze! I’m not saying it’s the healthiest way to deal with stress, but my legs are still all screwed up from over-doing it at the gym on Monday and I reserve the right to use that as an excuse to drink instead of exercise.
Who’s with me?
Okay, so about these Thai Lime Leaf Coolers. The lovely Nicole over at The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie has inspired me to try more of my own infusions, so I decided to go with my gut and make a Wild Lime Leaf-infused Vodka for this drink. Wild Lime Leaves are just about the most delicious thing ever.
The smell of these fragrant leaves instantly transports me back to Thailand, which is as close to a vacation as I’m going to get right now. I use them all the time in my cooking (like in my Crispy Tilapia in Curry Sauce and Peanut Panang Beef Curry), so I though a vodka infusion would be really fun.
You can pick up Wild Lime Leaves at most upscale grocery stores, practically any Asian supermarket, or buy them online if you need to. If you buy a bunch of them you can keep them in your freezer almost indefinitely.
I’m considering buying a Wild Lime Tree so I can have the leaves available to me year round! I’m on the fence about it because I totally have a black thumb and kill just about every plant I bring home. Except for this one weird plant I got from IKEA. I swear, I haven’t watered that thing in at least six months and it just keeps on keeping on.
I infused the lime leaves for about four days in a wide mouth mason jar because I wanted a really strong flavor, but even after twenty-four hours the vodka started to smell absolutely heavenly. Make a ginger-infused simple syrup by simmering equal parts water and sugar with some minced fresh ginger, then combine it all together with some muddled cucumber, club soda, and lime wedges.
Heaven, I tell you.
I got these cute glasses over at Cost Plus World Market – if you’re interested, you can get some of your own right here: Stackable Juice Glasses, Set of 4
Here’s Your Recipe!
- 1 pint Vodka
- 8 wild lime leaves
- 2 inches fresh ginger root, minced
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 1/4 c. water
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 limes, sliced
- 1 liter club soda
- Combine the lime leaves with the vodka in a mason jar or other tightly sealed container. Let infuse for at least one day, up to four days.
- Heat the ginger, sugar, and water in a small saucepan until boiling. Reduce to low and let simmer for five minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, peel the cucumber so that no green peel remains (it should look almost white). Half the cucumber lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Slice each cucumber half lengthwise into long strips, then cut crosswise into a fine dice. Make sure the cucumber pieces are big enough that they won't get sucked up through a straw.
- For each drink, muddle 1 Tbsp. cucumber in the bottom of a glass. Add 1.5 oz (one "shot") of the infused vodka, followed by 1 oz. of the cooled ginger syrup. Add ice to the brim, then top with 3 oz. club soda. Garnish with a lime slice and additional wild lime leaves if desired.