America's Oktoberfest

I don't really care much for beer...although sometimes I wish I did LOL. I feel like I'm missing out, but at the end of the day, I much prefer some hard liquor (mixed with some sweet stuff!). I love trying new cocktails this Cucumber Cape Codder. This is a vodka-based drink, and while vodka can be overwhelming in many drinks, I think all the flavors mellowed together very well.  The cucumber adds crispness and is a surprising complement to the drink.
I will include the recipe at the end of this post in case you're looking to try a new cocktail at home!

So, not big on the beer, but this has been the summer of festivals, so I wanted to make sure to check out Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US and the second largest in the WORLD (you know, after the original in Germany.) I wasn't able to make it until Sunday, so sadly I missed George Takei lead the world's largest chicken dance on Saturday afternoon.  (And since it was Sunday, I guess that makes it the first official festival attended in the fall!)
For one weekend, downtown Cincinnati is transformed to showcase the rich German heritage of Southwest Ohio.  So, of course that means tons of beer! And bratwursts.  Giant pretzels. Beer cheese.  Etc.

And look, I tried beer! OK, it was a sample of Hard Iced Tea and Lemonade. Close enough, right? ;-)
We enjoyed some German Roasted Almonds (and a pretzel) as we walked around and took some Pumpkin Strudel home with us. All in all, it was a pretty short visit, but I'm glad we made it. We need to take some beer lovers with us next year! I tried to talk my brother into coming, but he hates crowds, so that was a no-go. Because this place was definitely crowded. It covered a pretty sizable area downtown, but it was definitely packed.   


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups grated English cucumber (about 1 cucumber), plus cucumber wedges, for garnish
  • 9 ounces vodka, chilled (I used Pucker Apple Flavored Vodka - I think the apple paired really nicely with the cucumber.)
  • 12 ounces cranberry juice 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • Ice, for serving 
  1. Bring sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, stir in grated cucumber, and let cool. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl or large glass measuring cup, and discard solids (you should have 2 cups syrup). Cucumber syrup can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
  2. Combine cucumber syrup, vodka, and cranberry and lime juices in a 2-quart pitcher. Cocktail can be refrigerated up to 8 hours. Serve over ice, and garnish with cucumber wedges.


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