Last summer I was drinking a lot of iced green tea with mint. My mint was growing really well and this year it is already growing well too. Every time I brew up some iced tea, I have been throwing 5-6 stems of mint in there to steep with the tea. It is very refreshing on these hot days.
As the months go on, there comes a point when my mint turns dry and crispy in our hot summer temps. Last July I was trying to harvest and dry as much mint as I could to use throughout the winter months for making hot mint tea. I am glad I took the time to do the harvesting. It was worth it.
After I harvested a ton of mint last July I spent a few days visiting a friend in Austin, Texas. She wanted to make mojitos, so I took a bag of freshly picked mint with me. I had never had a mojito, but I had heard of them and people always commented on how refreshing they are. This is the recipe she had from allrecipes.com:
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
- 2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
- 1/2 cup club soda
Use a muddler to crush the mint & lime to release the mint oils & lime juice.
Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, & muddle again to release the lime juice.
Do not strain the mixture.
Fill the glass almost to the top with ice.
Pour the rum over the ice, then fill the glass with carbonated water.
Stir, taste and add more sugar if desired.
WOW! What a refreshing and easy drink to make. I am not a big drinker (of alcohol) so what we did after the first drink was start playing around with non-alcoholic versions. We made one with just club soda, but didn’t think it had any “kick” to it. I think it would have been good with tonic instead, but we didn’t have any.
The second non-alcoholic mojito we made we used ginger ale. That one was GREAT!
Each time we made one, we just kept adding to the mint and lime that was already in the glass. I realize after a few of these we would have to take out the lime and mint left-overs to make room for the liquid.
My mint has been growing well this year. It is a bit leggy in the spring so as I started to cut it back I would stash some mint leaves in the refrigerator. It was time to make a mojito using my homemade ginger beer. I used the basic ingredients from the above recipe, but I did not add any sugar since there is already sugar in my ginger beer.
Here are some other fun recipes for making some interesting sounding iced teas:
- Thai iced Tea - combining star anise, mint and sweetened condensed milk.
- Spicy-Spiked Iced Tea that mixes the flavors of cinnamon, orange, clove & rum (optional I think).
- Flying Eagle Iced Tea – using lemon juice, mint and vodka (again, I think it would make a nice flavored iced tea without the vodka)
I am still trying to come up with a clever name for my non-alcoholic mojito, until then, I hope I have inspired you to try something new. Now I am out of ginger beer and behind in making more.
*UPDATE: 26 May 2012 – Post on Make you own: Ginger Beer
You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.