I’m a bit of a teetotaler. A nice glass of wine with friends every now and then or the occasional craft brew is quite enough for me, thank you very much. Friends of mine, however, introduced me to two new cocktails this summer that are just so yummy, they pretty much disprove my theory that I don’t care for alcohol.
The first is a Mojito, which tastes a bit like key lime pie with lots of fresh mint, which what makes it so yummy. The second exliar is Limonchello, a tart lemony syrup that tastes like the best homemade lemonade you’ve ever had, but packs quite the alcoholic punch. It’s amazing how the Limonchello sneaks up on me. One minute, I’m sipping lemon goodness and the next minute my head is hazy.
I thought I’d share the recipes for both with you just in case you want to toast the enjoy the end-of-summer.
- 1.25 ounces of rum
- 12 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 0.5 ounces of lime juice (I love key limes)
- 2 ounces of seltzer
Place mint leaves in the bottom of a highball glass. Add crushed ice, rum, sugar and lime juice and muddle with a spoon. Add seltzer and garnish with more fresh mint.
- 10 lemons
- 1 (750-ml) bottle Everclear
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
Cut lemons into quarters and then remove the peel from the lemon in long strips (It’s the lemon rind that gives the drink its flavor). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. (If the pith is left on the lemons, it makes the mixture bitter) Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart Mason canning jar. Pour Everclear over the peels and cover. Be sure the alcohol fully covers the lemon rinds. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 14 days at room temperature.
After the lemons have steeped, stir the water and sugar in a pan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the simple syrup over the Everclear/lemon mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the Limoncello through a mesh strainer and discard the peels. Transfer the Limonchello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.