{ gardening surprises }

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{ lime basil vodka mojitos }

I love gardening. Anyone that’s known me for any length of time would find that a fascinating fact. I don’t much like to play in the dirt or lay on the grass. But for some reason, the ebb and flow of gardening trumps all the negatives of getting dirty and being around bugs.

One of the best parts of gardening happens after a couple of seasons of throwing dried up onion, arugula or snap peas into the compost pile only to have them start sprouting up again next season in odd places around the yard. I can see how this would bug some backyard farmers, but for me, it’s one of the joys.

I had a different type of surprise with lime basil. I was picking up seeds this past spring and thinking I was grabbing plain ol’ basil, I grabbed lime basil. I planted the seeds, they started to grow. Nature at work. When the plants were less than a foot tall I noticed a smell more akin to verbena than basil so I dug up the seed packet and low and behold: lime basil it said on the front.


It grew and grew and I had no idea what to do with it. Lime basil sounds awful in any Italian dish I can think of. Maybe a cold pasta salad? Anyway, there it sat. And sat.

One balmy evening (like I said, it’s been surprisingly humid this summer) I was picking my lemon cucumbers (LOVE) and thought…hmmm, I bet these two would work really well together with some vodka. And thus, the Lime Basil Lemon Cucumber Mojito was born…made with vodka. I never met a recipe I didn’t want to change.

{ lime basil mojito }
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lime basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon cucumber, cut into slices
  • vodka
  • soda water
  • 1 lemon, cut in four wedges
  1. Place the lime basil, simple syrup and lemon cucumbers in a wide-mouth jar/cup. Muddle all the ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Fill glass to the rim with ice.
  3. Put two to four fingers of vodka into the glass, depending on desired strength (and how your day is going).
  4. Fill remainder of jar with the soda water and squeeze one wedge of lemon in. Twirl with a straw and you’re ready to drink!

A couple of quick notes… First, I like lemon squeezed at the end of this. I think it works well with the basil and the cucumber. However, the name of the cocktail makes it seem obligated to the lime. Follow your instinct and taste buds on this one. Either way you won’t be disappointed.

Second, I don’t like to give specifics on alcohol quantity… Everyone’s taste and lifestyle is different. Yesterday, I needed four fingers of vodka. Such is life. To measure by fingers, hold your hand at the simple syrup fill line and go up from there. Start with two fingers and see where you want the evening to take you.