Friday, June 26, 2009

Got Mint?

Got mint?
I do. I planted it when we first moved into the house, before I knew what a bully it was. For a couple of years I tried to pull it out; now I let it grow, don't bother planting anything else near it, and try to remember to use it often in our short summer season. It is rivalling the lemon balm in height now, both of them advancing upon the house. Every once in a while I go out and cut them down to size, trying to pretend that I am the one in charge. Mojito anyone?

These cocktails are cool and sweet and pack a nice punch. Two or three and your troubles will just melt away. Take the afternoon off, the phone off the hook, and share a toast to summer.

Cuban Mojito
Tyler Florence, Real Kitchen

1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup of sugar
Big handful of fresh mint, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup light rum
Soda water
2 pieces fresh sugarcane stalks (optional)

In a martini shaker or wide glass, combine the lime, sugar and mint. Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, smash and crush everything together to release the oils and juice from the lime rind and mint leaves. When you have some nice juice in there and the sugar begins to dissolve, add the rum and stir it around to combine. Fill 2 glasses with ice, divide the mixture between the glasses, and top off with some soda. Garnish with a couple of mint leaves. For extra pizzazz, stick a piece of sugarcane in the glass to use as a stirrer.

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