Moonshine Herb Cucumber Smash
Smash cocktails bring together small batch spirits, fresh herbs, sugar, and the best fruit of the season, smashed to oblivion and shaken with ice. I recently shared this Whiskey Peach Basil Smash, so today I'm sharing a contemporary: Bright Lightning.
This drink feels like a summer salad with it's mix of garden cucumber and herbs dressed with moonshine and lemon. It's wonderfully herbaceous and more than anything, refreshing.
What are you in for when you drink moonshine, anyway? The Ozark Mountain Moonshine produced by Copper Run is a 20 percent wheat mash blend touting notes of delicate caramel, malted tones:
"Our flavor captures all the smooth complexity from the earthy root through the citrus green to the buttery sweetness of the corn kernel."
Fresh and juicy summer cucumber and garden herbs are a beautiful pair with moonshine, with a bit of lemon and salt to pull out the sweetness. This cocktail uses thyme, mint and basil for the herb mix, but try it with other hardy herbs like rosemary, sage or oregano.
Bright Lightning (Moonshine Herb Cucumber Smash)
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces Copper Run Ozark Mountain Moonshine
1/4 cup fresh herbs (mint, thyme, basil)
1/2 ounce lemon cane simple syrup*
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/4 of a cucumber (about 1/3 of a cup)
dash of maldon or flakey sea salt
herbs, for garnish
Muddle together moonshine, herbs, simple syrup, lemon juice and cucumber in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain onto fresh ice and garnish with a sprig of herbs.
*Lemon cane simple syrup
Makes 8 ounces syrup
1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar
1 cup water
zest of 1⁄2 lemon
Combine sugar, water, and lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir frequently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and let cool to room temperature. Strain into a clean glass jar or bottle. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.