When I think about Halloween, the first word that jumps into my head is “mojito.” Actually, no. That’s not the case at all. And yet for some reason, my friends Sly, IndianJones, and I decided to make a batch of mojitos before hitting the town Sunday night (it should be noted that Sly retired to her spider-ridden domicile instead of joining us out and about).
Anyway, in an effort to change things up from the typical mojito experience, we once again turned to Paul Abercrombie’s awesome book Organic, Shaken, and Stirred and set our eyes on a green tea mojito recipe. It seemed like an intriguing twist on the classic Cuban cocktail. So what if it was perhaps vastly out of season? (to be fair, Los Angeles has been in the throes of 90 degree weather; so it wasn’t totally bizarre to opt for a Halloween mojito).
After the jump, a very special cocktail of the week — a feature I’ve renamed “The Quaff” because it sounds at once very fancy and simultaneously slightly dirty. Spoiler alert: I’m in my costume…
First things first: I brew up some green tea on the stove. I have no tea kettle; so a saucepan will have to do.
Proof of said brewing.
My work station.
To get into the spirit of the holiday, I don the gold chain I’d been wearing as part of my Vanilla Ice costume. Sly notes that this is a rather half-assed effort on my part. It is my duty to transform myself for this cocktail. I happily oblige…
Ta-da… Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to us until afterwards that I should have mixed some sort of Vanilla Ice cocktail. Oh well.
Speaking of ice, I’m pouring the tea into a shaker filled with ice in an effort to chill it down instantly.
Word to your freezer.
I appear to be stumped by something. A dramatic impasse, clearly.
Respect the hat.
Anyway, here’s the tea, ready to be shaken into a chilly state.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have ice tea.
Giving Sly the Vanilla Ice eyebrow.
Sly takes the obligatory photo of her feet.
A far less intriguing photo of my feet.
I attempt to carry several limes into the kitchen, but the laws of physics work against me.
Soon I’m back to work, slicing up limes to be juiced. This juicer continues to be one of the best kitchen additions of the year.
Juicing, Vanilla Ice style.
While I tend to the lime juice, I recommend that Sly dress my cat magnet up in a Halloween costume.
Once I’ve juiced enough limes, I erect the traditional tower of the rinds. Ooohs and ahhhs all around.
Sly gets up close and personal with my bling.
In search of a teaspoon measure. Exciting times this Halloween…
I’m off to the wilderness to find rum.
I return with not just Baccardi but also my muddler (named Bette, you’ll recall).
At last we’re ready to put together the drink. Here comes a tablespoon of lime juice.
The juice is supposed to go right into two highball glasses. I use pint glasses instead because that’s all I have.
Next we handle the all-essential mint.
Into the glasses go the herbs.
Next comes the sugar.
I then vigorously muddle the mint, sugar, and lime juice all together.
ICE ICE BABY.
You got a problem? Yo, I’ll solve it. Case in point: I broke up this ice with several thwacks from Bette Muddler.
Let’s do this.
Each glass receives three ounces of tea.
This is followed by one ounce of rum.
This is not perhaps the strongest drink in the world, but it certainly smells amazing.
I swirl the drinks with a chopstick. Sly informs me that Julia Child would have been proud.
Time for the tasting. THE QUAFF, if you will.
So far so good…
People, we have a winner.
Sly felt my previous expression didn’t accurately portray my happiness; so here I am hamming it up for effect.
Going back for more.
How good were the green tea mojitos? Good enough that we INSTANTLY got to work making a pitcher (this way IndianJones — who had been working on his costume — could get in on the fun).
I’m happy to report that the green tea mojito translates to pitcher form VERY easily.
A cup of rum? Don’t mind if I do!
A moment of sudden enthusiasm.
In no time we have our pitcher done.
On to round two…
As you can see, we clearly loved the green tea mojito. Flavor-wise, it’s similar to a regular mojito, except instead of a fizzy sensation from club soda, you’re left with a refreshingly herbal flavor from the tea. Each glass seemed to get better and better, and by the time IndianJones and I made a whole new pitcher the next afternoon, I was seriously debating whether or not I liked these bad boys more than the classic version. I’m still on the fence. I might need to do a side-by-side comparison…
Until then, rest assured that this very simple drink is most certainly worth enjoying any time of the year. Make it in a glass or in a pitcher — it’s all perfectly refreshing. However, if you’re looking to get tanked, perhaps go for the significantly stronger Poolside a.k.a. the Cougar Cooler. It’s a lovely drink; although, the green tea mojito wins out flavor-wise. Check both out and let me know what you think…