The Friday Drink You Didn’t Know You Needed

Please join me in hoisting a Mule

Because it’s Friday and we — all of us — have had a surreal week, I think we — all of us, and certainly ME — need a stiff drink. Herewith, I would like to share the magic elixir that has lubricated many of my pandemic evenings. It’s called a Cucumber Mule. I first enjoyed one in a restaurant in the Hudson Valley; I ordered it because I like mules (the animals) and because I like vodka (the liquor). Also, the “cucumber” part of it made it sound virtuous, like a salad.

First ingredient: Cucumber vodka. Believe me, this exists.

Second: St. Germain, which is a sweet liqueur made from… shoot, I don’t remember. Something tasty. It comes in a really pretty bottle, which you can save and use for your olive oil, although then every time you use olive oil, you’ll feel like you’re making a cocktail. Not sure whether that’s a thumbs up or down.

Third: Lime juice. Don’t use lemon unless … well, maybe you can. I don’t make the rules; I merely follow them. But I suppose if I were dying for a mule and I only had lemons, I’d go rogue.

Fourth: Ginger beer. I’ve never tried making this drink with ginger ale and I bet it would be disgusting. Too sweet. Stick to ginger beer. I hoard Fever Tree because it’s really good.

Mix these together. There is probably some ratio you should use, and if you feel strongly about it, be my guest and Google it. I just pour some of each ingredient into an attractive glass and taste it along the way until it’s good. The advantage of this is that you get to drink while you’re making your drink, like snacking on cookie dough while you’re baking.

Oh, ice. My husband is obsessed with “smooth, clear ice, really good ice” which in its specificity and nerdiness reminds me of how all of my college boyfriends were obsessed with audio equipment. Me, I just use whatever makes it cold and I don’t examine each cube as if it were a show beagle at Westminster for chrissakes. I mean, seriously? Just get some fucking ice, smooth and beautiful if you need that, straight out of the ice-maker if you’re made of rougher stuff.

Bottoms up.

Staff writer, The New Yorker. Author of The Library Book, The Orchid Thief, and more…Head of my very own book club (join me!)

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