Drinking a spicy Thai basil cucumber cocktail is a sweet way to enjoy the heat of late summer! Literally! With hot peppers and savory Thai basil, this drink is cool and refreshing, with a nice, slow jalapeno burn at the finish.
This is one of Vintage Kitty’s most popular recipes so if you love Thai food you have to try this spicy Thai basil cucumber cocktail!
Anyone who knows me, knows I heart Thai food… green curry, coconut soup, drunken noodles… Seriously, ask me what I’d like to have for dinner… 99% chance I’ll say Thai, especially in the summer. As a cuisine, it embraces colorful veggies, citrus, basil, and hot peppers! All perfect summer ingredients.
So, I got to thinking about what type of Thai inspired drink I could make with my late summer garden harvest. I settled on cucumber as a base because juiced cucumbers are wonderfully refreshing in a cocktail. It’s also the perfect counterbalance to the hot peppers which are ripening all over my garden.
And can you have a Thai inspired drink without Thai basil? Maybe, there are other great choices like cilantro and mint, but the Thai Basil in my herb garden called to me. Its licorice flavor is one of the reasons that Thai cuisine is so distinctive and why I love it so so very much!
What follows? Lime and organic sugar, of course! And would summer be summer without rum? It’s like one of those “if a tree falls in a forest” type of questions. If it’s summer and there is no rum, I must not be there!
And the final touch is a hint of hot pepper. Just enough for complexity and warmth, but not so much to overpower the fresh flavors of the cucumber, basil and lime. I choose jalapeno for its color and heat and because I had them on hand, banana pepper for extra flavor.
Because I like to be extra fancy, and because they looked so pretty, I had to pick some Chinese Five Color peppers to garnish this Spicy Thai Basil Cucumber Cocktail. They are EXTREMELY hot, but goodness are they deceivingly cute!
I almost forgot my favorite ingredient… a cute vintage glass! Found 10 of these last weekend at an indoor flea market and thought they had a versatile shape for drinks or dessert. That justifies the extra space in my cupboard, right?
This Spicy Thai Basil Cucumber Cocktail is very easy to make once you’ve gotten your ingredients prepped. The cucumber juice takes a little work. It has to be peeled, seeded, pureed and then strained to get a nice clear juice, but this drink is worth a little effort. The rest is easy.
Prepping the lime, basil, and hot peppers in advance will make cocktail hour more fun and less work. Trust me. And gather your cocktail tools in advance too. Muddler, cocktail shaker, measuring cup, check, check check!
Exotic destination in glass anyone? So good you won’t want to share, but you have to serve this to your friends. They will be so impressed with your gourmet bartending skills.
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Spicy Thai Basil Cucumber Cocktail
- 8-10 leaves Thai basil
- 2 TB organic sugar
- 1/2 lime , cut into four pieces
- 2- 1/8 inch slices fresh jalapeno
- 2- 1/8 inch slices banana pepper
- 2 oz cucumber juice (see notes)
- 2 oz white rum
- In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle basil, lime, sugar and peppers.
- Add cucumber juice and rum and muddle again.
- Add ice and shake.
- Strain over ice and garnish, if desired.
- To make cucumber juice, peel an English cucumber, then cut it in half a scoop out the seeds. Chop the cucumber and puree in a blender. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- I've suggested English cucumbers because they tend to be sweet and have more meat and less seeds, however almost any cucumber could be used.
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