I say this drink is "kickin'" because it's incredibly spicy. It won't burn your mouth, bit it will awaken your senses.
|Making the ginger-peppercorn syrup|
The star ingredient is the ginger-peppercorn syrup, which gives the drink a potent yet refreshing kick. To temper the heat, I added other soothing ingredients: fresh mint and muddled cucumber, plus the herbal taste of yellow Chartreuse liqueur. The syrup is also good with just gin, lime juice and club soda, if you want something simpler.
Kickin' Cucumber Collins
1 oz. ginger-peppercorn syrup*
8 mint leaves
About an inch of peeled cucumber, chopped
1 oz. lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
½ oz. Chartreuse
1 ½ oz. gin
2 oz. club soda
Add syrup and mint to shaker and muddle. Add cucumber and muddle again. Add ice, lemon juice, Chartreuse and gin. Shake well and strain into collins glass with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with cucumber slice and mint.
*To make ginger-peppercorn syrup, combine 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked peppercorns, ¼ cup chopped ginger (about 3 inches peeled ginger root), 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 40 minutes. Strain out solids.