I used to hate mint. The mints you get at Houlihan’s after dinner: I would slide them directly over to my sister. Crest Cool Mint toothpaste: I would make my mom by Aquafresh. Thin Mint Girls Scout Cookies: My order was entirely composed of Tagalongs.
But then I spent the summer in the city of super-expensive-cocktails (aka London). My friends and I would try to pre-game with a 2-liter bottle of Strongbrow before we went to the bars, but after being out for a few hours, buying a drink was unavoidable. One of my friends loved mojitos and on multiple occasions was generous enough to buy mojitos for the group. At first I turned down these free mojitos because I dreaded the idea of drinking a beverage that was full of mint. But by the second week on my stay in London my budget was running low and I couldn’t turn down a free drink. It wasn’t love at first taste, but by my 3rd or 4th cocktail, I began to actually enjoy the refreshing mint flavor that the fresh mint leaves lent the drink. Next I began drinking Pimms and Lemonade, a British summer cocktail in which deep green mint leaves make the drink cool and lively.
It’s been two years since my first mojito and now I can’t imagine a better ingredient than mint leaves to add to a cocktail on a warm summer evening. In order to enjoy the refreshing nature of mint on a hot summer day, try one of the following cocktail recipes.
Alex Milling writes about booze for Small Kitchen College. She’s a senior at Northwestern, where she loves the dining hall’s Hot Cookie Bar.
Sol de Pina
3 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 pinches of sugar
1 lime slice, cut in half
2 oz white tequila
8 oz pineapple juice
1 egg white
4 oz crushed ice
Muddle (mix in the bottom of a glass using a pestle or a spoon) 3 mint leaves, sugar, and lime.
Add muddled ingredients and all remaining ingredients in shaker. Shake hard for several minutes until frothy.
Pour in martini glass and garnish with additional mint leaves.
Pomegranate Mai Tai
4 mint leaves
2 pinches of sugar
1 lime slice, cut in half, plus more for garnish
2 oz white rum
4 oz pomegranate juice
1 oz pineapple juice
4oz crushed ice
Muddle (mix in the bottom of a glass using a pestle or a spoon) the mint, sugar, and lime slice.
Add muddled ingredients and all remaining ingredients to shaker. Shake a few times until cold.
Pour in glass and garnish with additional limes.
Pimms and Lemonade
3 mint leaves
1 pinch sugar
1 slice orange, cubed
1/2 slice lemon, cubed
1 slices lime cubed
1/2 strawberry, cubed
2 slices cucumber, cubed, plus additional slice for garnish
2 oz Pimms
6 oz Sprite
Muddle (mix in the bottom of a glass using a pestle or a spoon) the mint, sugar, orange, lemon, lime, and strawberry.
Add muddled ingredients and all remaining ingredients to shaker. Shake a few times until mixed.
Pour in glass containing ice and garnish with additional cucumber.