This Tequila Cocktail Is Your New Fave Summer Drink

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cocktail_column_slide_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
A summer cocktail doesn't have to be complicated to be delicious and refreshing. That's the beauty of it. Look at everyone's favorite warm-weather drink, the margarita: It's just four easy-to-find ingredients (or three, if the salt garnish isn't your bag). The classic daiquiri? Three. No infused liquors or exotic syrups here — only bright, clean, beautiful flavors.

All that simplicity, however, can sometimes lead to boredom, especially after you've had your 20th piña colada of the season. Don't let this be your summer of settling. You can create something new — something inventive — without buying $50 worth of fancy equipment and artisanal bitters. Like the Milk Maid, for instance.

Created by bartender Elizabeth Weiss, this cocktail combines the best parts of staple summertime tipples — tequila, lime, cream of coconut, and a touch of salt — but becomes something entirely unexpected with the addition of cucumber. The result is drink that's creamy but not heavy and sweet but not cloying, in which the cucumber allows the vegetal, mineral aspects of the tequila to sing.

"I wanted [the Milk Maid] to be something approachable but also surprising and highlight the complexity of the oh-so-delicious tequila," says Weiss, adding, "It was meant to be enjoyed and drank while you were hanging out, dancing, catching up, etc."

Weiss originally crafted this cocktail at Brooklyn's Beloved, but you can find her mixing it up now at The Whistler in Chicago. Or, you can make it at home — and you should. Often.

If you go this route, Weiss emphasizes that Coco Lopez cream of coconut, not coconut milk, is preferred for both its sugar content and consistency. When it comes to spirits, Patrón Silver may be the most recognizable blanco tequila, but Weiss recommends El Espolón Blanco or Don Fulano.

Below, the recipe for Weiss' lovely summery cocktail. Get ready for your new favorite.

The Milk Maid

Ingredients
1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio)
3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut
2 oz blanco tequila
3 slices of cucumber (one for garnish)
Salt (for garnish)

Instructions
Shake all ingredients together, then strain into a rocks glass. Top with a dash of salt and a cucumber wheel.