Three summers ago, I had an amazing ‘mobile’ herb garden that we planted and grew in a bunch of mismatched pots on our deck. When we moved into our house in Toronto, we were first time homeowners. Our small city garden had been landscaped by pros and we didn’t dare touch it, so we started this little collection of herbs in an attempt to curate and craft something of our very own in the backyard. Because I am a terribly undomestic goddess and my husband’s in charge of the kitchen, I mostly just admired the herbs from a distance, until one day I decided to get my hands dirty, get experimental and leverage my love of cocktails to create a truly beautiful and very simple summer recipe.
I won’t lie, a lot of the cocktail mixtures I tried were ill-conceived (Ed. Note: chives need a lot of measurement testing before they will contribute to a beverage that won’t make your friends barf), but a few stood out as big time winners and one, in particular, makes a regular appearance on my table through the whole sunny season.
Unimaginatively, we called it “The Roculola” (ro-ka-lo-la), which is more of a mnemonic nickname combining the ingredients and my nickname ‘Lola’.) It stuck—but don’t let the terrible name turn you off. (Hint: You can call it whatever you like.)
Most important to note about this drink are: it’s really, really simple to make; it’s low-cal; and it’s made with mineral water and green stuff, so you’re actually hydrating and getting nutrients while you’re drinking. Hashtag: Genius.
Here’s what’s in it:
Rosemary * Cucumber * Sparkling Mineral Water * Vodka
And, here’s how you make it:
- Pick several sprigs of rosemary from your bush (or out of the plastic container from the shop)
- Trim the excess stem and ‘muddle’ (mash lightly—just enough to release the flavour—with a wooden spoon or pestle unless you have a muddler), in a glass jug.
- Add a few cups of crushed ice, approximately half of the cucumber in super thin (1/4 cm?) rounds
- Include an ounce of vodka for each glass that the jug holds (or to your preference)
- And top up with mineral water (I look for sodium free, where possible!)
Result? A drink that looks super pretty in it’s bushy greenness, tastes like fresh summer days, won’t pack on unnecessary pounds (especially appreciated in swimsuit season), and keeps you hydrated.