Drink up! – The Backyard Garden Party

The Backyard Garden Party

I am very excited to be able to write this post!  Danielle and I just finished the Whole30 food challenge and of all the indulgences that I am surprised I made it 30 days without, alcohol probably tops the list.  I am an equal opportunity booze hound.  Wine, beer, or liquor – I’m a big fan.  I should have come up with a drink that had some more attitude like the “Syonara Whole30 Sling,” but it is 98F on this September 1st so I felt it best to go with something a little more refreshing and gentle.

This drink is as refreshing and easy drinking as it comes and, despite its appearance, tastes nothing like Ecto Cooler!  Its name comes from its ingredients (what backyard farmer doesn’t grow basil and cucumbers?) and how its flavor reminds me of a bunch of pleasantly round old ladies, dressed in their Sunday best, gossiping around a table in their well-manicured garden.  This is the type of concoction that I imagine them sipping; perhaps getting a bit too laughy…

When properly mixed this drink should taste like none of its ingredients independently but rather the new flavor that they come together to make.  Though it definitely gets the job done, there is barely any perceptible alcohol burn; it drinks like water and not gin.  It is also not very sweet, with just enough ginger beer to balance the distinct vegetality of the cucumber/basil water.

Basil and Cucumber - The Backyard Garden Party

To make the cucumber/basil water, I took half of an English cucumber and 6 medium sized basil leaves and blended them in our Vita-Mix with just enough gin added to get it to fully puree (maybe .5-.75 fl.oz.).  I then strained the puree through cheesecloth, yielding just the pulpless green liquid.

The Backyard Garden Party Drink

Add .5-.75 fl. oz. of gin to get cucumber and basil to fully puree

The Backyard Garden Party Drink in Vitamix

Puree vigorously.  A Vita-mix is KEY for this or another high powered blender that is similar!

The Backyard Garden Party Drink strained through cheesecloth

Strain though cheeseclothThe Backyard Garden Party

NOT Ecto Cooler!

The Backyard Garden Party Drink
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 2
  • For Cucumber/Basil Water:
  • ½ English cucmber, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • .5-.75 fl. oz. gin of your preference (I used Tanqueray)
  • To Make Drink:
  • 3.5 fl. oz. gin of your preference (I used Tanqueray)
  • 3.5 fl. oz. cucumber/basil water
  • 5 fl. oz. ginger beer (NOT ginger ale)
  • 2 cucumber slices (for garnish)
  • 2 basil leaves (for garnish)
  1. Make cucumber/basil water by adding cucumber and basil to blender with a small amount of gin and blending to a very fine puree (a quality blender makes all the difference here. We solely recommend the Vita-Mix). Strain through cheesecloth. Set liquid aside. Discard any pulp.
  2. In a Boston shaker filled with ice, add 3.5 fl. oz. of gin and an equal amount of cucumber/basil water. Shake vigorously
  3. Strain into (2) 16oz. mason jars (or equivalent)
  4. Add 2.5 fl. oz. of ginger beer to each of the glasses and gently stir with a spoon.
  5. Garnish with cucumber slice and basil leaf, if desired.


Did you have anything fun to drink today? Have you ever used ingredients from your garden to make a yummy drink? This one was so refreshing! I know we will be making this more!

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