It’s spring, the season trademarked by the palette of green colors now arriving everywhere. Each new set of leaves from bushes and trees comes with its own native color, one that will gracefully mellow day by day until fall arrives. In our country home, our bedroom window looks out on a forest scene that has a hundred different greens greeting us each morning.

I like to make my own green color, in the form of a beverage that is deliciously addicting. I first had this cocktail in Santa Monica and over the years have modified it to what, I will modestly claim, is perfection. The first reaction to this drink from my friends is, “What is this?” Cucumber is the word on the tip of their tongue, but it’s hidden in this array of flavors — citrus juice, sugar, mint — and zap from the vodka.

It’s one of my favorite cocktails and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Spring Green Cucumber Martini

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

10 mint leaves
4 ounces sugar syrup
2 ounces lemon juice
6 ounces cucumber vodka [see directions below]
2 handfuls of ice

Preparation:

Line the bottom of a muddling container with mint. Add the sugar syrup and lemon juice. Muddle until the mint is thoroughly crushed. Add the cucumber vodka. Pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake vigorously. Pour into cocktail glasses filled with crushed ice.

For alternatives, add 2 ounces of lime juice in addition to, or instead of, the lemon juice. Or consider rimming the cocktail glasses with superfine sugar.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Cucumber Vodka:

Pour a 750ml bottle of vodka into a glass jar. Peel and halve one cucumber. Remove the seeds and cut into 1/8-inch slices. Place the cucumber slices in the jar, refrigerate, and let sit for 24 hours. Store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator with the cucumber slices still in the jar.