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Monsoon Blues

November 5, 2010

Dudes, it will not stop raining. The past week has been cloudy and wet and lame, and it’s making me moody. Also, the power went out on the entire island on Wednesday night. I even failed at painting my nails, that’s how pathetic it’s getting over here. And don’t get me started on the mosquitoes.

I know the real cure for all this is positivity, fresh air, exercise and B vitamins. But in the meantime, I invented a delicious and refreshing cocktail.

1 cucumber
a big handful of calamansi (see note)
1  tbsp thai basil syrup (see note)
approx. 2 oz. gin

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle six thin slices of cucumber with four calamansi, cut in half. Add the basil syrup and give it a little stir.
2. Add ice to the shaker. Then, add gin and shake violently. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of cucumber. Cheers!


  • Calamansi are the most common citrus on Guam. They look like little round limes, but are orange inside. They have a nice balance of sweet and sour. You could probably substitute a large lime wedge and a small orange wedge for the drink. Plus, you won’t get scurvy. I know you were worried about that.
  • To make basil syrup, bring 1 cup of water mixed with 1 cup of white sugar to a boil in a saucepan. By the time it boils, the sugar should be dissolved. Remove from the heat and add about a half a cup of basil. Let the syrup steep for about 15 or 20 minutes, remove the basil and refrigerate. The syrup makes a great dessert over melon or strawberries. I used Thai basil, but you can use whatever variety is available.
  • Cucumbers in grocery stores are often waxed. It’s edible, but you don’t want it in your delicious beverage. I would recommend removing the wax, either by dunking the cucumber in boiling water, cleaning it with vinegar or one of those produce-washing products, or peeling the skin off.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    November 9, 2010 2:51 pm

    If you weren’t knee-deep in monsoon blues I’d laugh that my phone’s weather thing is finally RIGHT!

    I will look forward to sampling one of these delicious-sounding cocktails when I visit!

    • arlemonbar permalink*
      November 9, 2010 5:21 pm

      Yay, I can’t wait! I finally acquired a comfortable guest bed, so Guam is officially ready for you.

  2. Pamela permalink
    November 11, 2010 11:31 am

    YUM YUM! In Ghana, there was nothing so refreshing as gin and bitter lemon. It was one of those “oh happy day” moments when I discovered BevMo had started importing bitter lemon.

    Now that you have adapted… does it feel very cold to you when it rains all day?

    • arlemonbar permalink*
      November 15, 2010 9:27 am

      Hi there! No, it’s still hot and humid, usually, even when it’s raining. The only time I get cold here is indoors, from an air conditioner.

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