Did you know gin has many health benefits and is also lower in calories than beer and wine
? After all, it was developed as an alternative health remedy before it became a social drink. Try this Botanical Gin Martini created by bar manager Mark Aquilinio of Davio's Northern Italian Steak House in Philadelphia, Pa.
Ingredients: a dash of dry vermouth, 2 oz. of Bombay Sapphire Gin, and one botanical ice cube at the base of the glass.
To prepare: Simply combine the vermouth, gin, and ice in a strainer, line the inside of a martini glass with frozen cucumber wheels, place one botanical ice cube at base of martini glass, strain the cocktail into your glass, and serve.
So, how do you make a botanical ice cube? Roughly chop two English cucumbers, leaving seeds and peels intact. Combine with 1 oz. of cilantro seeds and one cup of simple syrup (1/4 water 3/4 sugar) in a blender to puree. Strain the combination through a fine siv and freeze in silicone mold or some container with a wide surface area for shaving ice. It'll make a great conversation starter at your next cocktail party!