hellomagazine.com's homepage, The place for daily celebrity news

The Recipe Room

Get your own blog on "The Recipe Room" Register here
follow us on: Facebook Twitter

Cover: Shaken and stirred

Recipes with mint

30May 12

Mojito

MojitoWhen I think of my days in Cuba, I think of gorgeous sandy beaches, exotic women with big white smiles, the face of Che Guevara on sign posts everywhere, and of Ernest Hemingway. During my stay in La Habana, I could sense his presence in many of the little streets of the old part of the city. Following in his footsteps I ended up in La Bodeguita, a local bar where Hemingway, according to the legend, used to sit and write. Ernesto, the oldest barman in the place, said he did sit there, but didn´t write as much as taste Mojitos, the drink the Bodeguita prides itself on. The Mojito, in honor of Hemingway and the beautiful island of Cuba, is going to be our cocktail of the day.

The Mojito is a drink made with rum, which is fire water made by distilling sugar cane and is the first national drink of the New World. It is a drink which affects the nose more than the eyes. It may look a little uninteresting at first sight, but as soon as one experiences its scent and taste, it becomes a must for outdoor experiences and hot afternoons. I prefer the traditional drink, but a gooseberry mojito is nice as well.

The Mojito’s secret is the mint and the role it plays in the final aroma and taste of the cocktail. It is a perfect drink for a day in the countryside, for if there is a stream running nearby, there is almost certainly mint growing somewhere in the river bed. On a sunny July afternoon, Mojitos go perfectly with cucumber sandwiches and good company. The aroma of fresh mint and rum, mixed up with lemon juice and syrup will drive your senses crazy and give you a Hemingway experience wherever you may be.

What you need
• 4.5 cl of white rum
• Two stalks of fresh mint
• 1.5 cl of lemon juice
• 2 spoonfuls Syrup (or sugar)
• Ice (preferably crushed)
• Splash of mineral water

How Ernesto made it for Ernest

1. Put mint in a tall glass, with lemon juice and syrup. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then crush the mint against the sides of the glass without breaking the stalks, as you need to free that special mint aroma.
2. Once you have accomplished this, fill your tall glass with ice and add rum. Top it off with mineral water.
3. Now you are ready for a real sensation of a drink.

Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 cocktail

Continue reading
23Mar 12

Mint Julep

Mint JulepA couple of years ago, I was stranded at a Kentucky airport for 12 hours. I was on my way from Miami to New York, and a storm forced our plane to land in rather a hurry. I was left feeling a little uneasy when I got off and decided to visit the nearest bar for a drink. The bartender recommended a typical Southern cocktail to stabilize my emotions: the Mint Julep. It is probably one of the simplest drinks I have ever tried, and also one of the best.

A mint julep is made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, syrup or sugar, and water. Traditionally spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, Kentucky in particular. Apparently the secret to a good mint julep is to use loads of spearmint. The flavour is so good that it makes me think that I should also try it in my mojitos.

The origins of the Mint Julep are somewhat of a mystery. The first time its name appeared in writing was in 1803, in a book published by John Davis in London. It was described as “”a dram of spirituous liquor that has mint steeped in it, taken by Virginians of a morning.” It is suggested it was first concocted in Kentucky. Henry Clay, State Senator, then took the recipe to the Round Robin Bar in the famous Willard Hotel in Washington while he was in office. These days, it is the official drink at the world famous Kentucky Derby track.

The most important ingredient in a mint julep is bourbon. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County. It has been produced since the 18th century.

I have never actually been in Kentucky, except for its airport. I don’t know if I will ever return, but my couple of hours there were enough to give me a good memory of the place and a great cocktail to share with you.

Ingredients:
• leaves from 4-5 spearmint sprigs
• 2 sugar cubes or 1.5 cl simple syrup
• 7.5 cl bourbon
• mint sprig for garnish

Preparation:
1. Put the spearmint and simple syrup or sugar into a julep cup, Collin’s glass or double old-fashioned glass.
2. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and to release the oil and aroma from the mint.
3. Add the bourbon.
4. Fill with crushed ice and stir well until the glass becomes frosty.
5. Garnish with the mint sprig.

Time: 4 minutes
Serves: 1 cocktail

Continue reading