Growing up, mint was always a welcome herb in the summer – growing and spreading like bamboo. After running around the neighborhood in 95 degree heat sticking a few sprigs of mint in my mouth and biting down always seemed to cool me down several degrees no matter how hot I was. Now that I’m older, nothing is quite as refreshing as sitting down with a nice cold mojito, using fresh mint from the E.A.T. garden.
As mentioned, if you plant mint, definitely keep it under control as it will spread. My perfect mojito contains the following ingredients:
- A handful of mint leaves separated from the stem (10-12)
- 2 Tablespoons simple syrup. Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator and used to sweeten tea and other drinks.
- 1 1/2 ounces Rum
- Juice of lime wedge
- Splash of club soda
Squeeze lime in the bottom of a highball glass, add mint leaves. Using a muddler, bruise mint leaves against bottom of the glass to release the oil from the mint. Add rum, simple syrup, club soda, and ice (preferably crushed). Stir to mix and garnish with a sprig of mint.
As an added touch, dropping mint leaves into an ice tray will not only add flair but keep the mint in focus every time you tip your glass!
Ernest Hemingway enjoyed mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana as well as in Key West – so why not grab your pipe, a copy of ”The Old Man and the Sea,” make a mojito and enjoy a summer evening on the porch?
Tip: One too many of these and you might have to resort to the “H&H Bloody Mary” the next morning!
H&H Happy Hour is written by Forest Hill resident, Tim Vidra, and is a bi-monthly summer series of cocktail recipes with a twist – often incorporating finds from his own organic garden. View these and more recipes at Tim’s food blog, E.A.T., advocating the use of simple local ingredients and sharing tips for how to incorporate them into dishes that will impress.