14 June 2014

mojito season

We've been making mojitos recently. Usually we would just walk a few blocks to our favorite Mexican restaurant, but it suffered a small fire months ago and is closed. Disappointing, yes, but we weren't about to let early Mojitos On The Patio Season escape us entirely. So we've been making them ourselves and perfecting the house recipe.

Here is my take on the mojito. I think there is some authenticity in this recipe, but if not, forgive me and let me be.

House Mojito
Makes one tall, refreshing cocktail

You'll Need
A bunch of fresh mint leaves (at least 3 sprigs worth, but the more the merrier)
1 lime, halved
3 tbsp simple syrup
3 oz light rum

Also Helpful To Have
A muddler
Citrus press

Then You Just...
1.  Add the mint leaves and simple syrup to a glass. Take your fancy muddler, and really work those upper arms and shoulders to give the mint a solid crushing. Really muddle it with all you have. Just pound away at it until the mint smell is bolder than when you started.

2.  Use your new citrus press (like this one) to juice the lime halves directly into your glass. I just recently bought one after Alex made me an outstanding G&T with freshly squeezed lime juice during my Portland trip. I usually just garnish my gin with a slice of lime, but a squeeze of juice makes it even better. These presses work like magic. I used to have a vintage glass juicer that I really liked (like this one), but I couldn't find it so decided to take the $7 plunge and by this gadget. It was the best decision I've ever made, at least the best decision I've ever made regarding citrus juicing tools.

3.  At this point, I add in the ice and rum. Then I top off the rest with seltzer, pop a straw in there and then shuffle out to our own private patio to enjoy a crisp, refreshing and extraordinarily satisfying house-made mojito.

Over the past few years we've been experimenting more with herbs in our cocktails, and what better or more classic place to start than with a minty mojito? Don't fear the greenery in your drink, embrace it. What summer drinks are you mixing up these days? The beauty of the mojito is that it stands up even without the booze. A minty, lime-infused seltzer sounds perfect! No rum required, though it will kick it up a notch if that's what you're looking for. On the topic of mint:  I know everyone complains about it because it takes over entire gardens and yards with its aggressive antics, but I would love to have a mint aggression problem on my hands. I would pick baskets and baskets of it and then put it in my water, seltzer, tea and rum. I'd chew on it and add it to every one of my smoothies. I'd let it massacre other herbs like marjoram and thyme. I would be a mint enabler, the likes of which have not been seen before.

Summer Thyme Cocktail over at From Scratch Club
My summer to-do list from a few seasons ago, including a promise for more herby drinks

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