After my failed attempt at green food dye, I was ready to leave the realm of green food products behind. Especially for St. Patrick’s Day. But then I found a leftover bunch of mint in my fridge and I started thinking…
Inspired by my experience with homemade grenadine, I stripped the mint leaves off, gathering about 2 c of mint, and tossed them in my blender. I added 4 oz of vodka and 2 T of sugar (just enough to add a hint of sweetness, without being particularly sweet), and then blended for a couple minutes. I let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, giving the mint a bit of time to infuse through the vodka, and then strained it through one layer of cheesecloth (leftover from the ricotta!). The straining was little annoying since the cheesecloth had to be cleaned off several times, but maybe that’s the price paid for fresh mint syrup. From start to finish (including “steeping” time), the mint syrup took about 20 minutes.
With my new fresh mint syrup, I started thinking of cocktails from modern mojitos to lemon-sake martinis. Eventually, though, I decided to play up the green theme with some green tea (I happened to have a bottle that’s been sitting around from Trader Joe’s, though typically I would steep my own). So, here’s a fresh and light recipe that’s sure to win over anyone who’s resistant to green drinks on St. Patty’s day. Like me!
Green tea, mint and lemon cooler
- 4 oz green tea
- 0.5 oz mint syrup
- juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 2 oz vodka
- garnish: 1 thin lemon slice and 1 mint leaf
Shake ingredients together and pour over ice in a high ball glass. Garnish. Drink. Ahh…