Monday, June 05, 2006

Mixology Monday: Mint

This Mixology Monday is hosted by Kaiser Penguin, one of the most entertainingly named cocktail blogs out there.

First of all, I am reminded of a certain friend of mine C., who tells a story of the year that his household made a green Creme de Menthe-based concoction to fill the enormous gallon-sized hurricane glass that was the central fixture of their St. Patrick's Day party. Multiple straws were inserted into the glass to allow for group imbibing. C. was loathe to leave the glass full at the end of the party, so did his best to do the drink justice. It ended with him on the bathroom floor, exuding mint from every pore and moaning, "So...minty...sooooo... miiiinty..." It took him a couple of years to tolerate mint again. I guess that lesson didn't completely stick, since now he is a big fan of my mojitos.

I recently went on a liqueur-making binge. I wanted to make some Creme de Menthe, and so I decided to try two recipes. One is pretty quick, and uses mint extract. The other makes it's own extract from fresh mint, of which I have much. Too much, in fact. I dug up my mint this spring and replanted in a buried plastic tub. I'm still pulling up mint stragglers, so I'm never at a loss for fresh mint, and probably never will be.

So the basic recipe for the storebought extract-based: 1 cup simple syrup, 3 tsps mint extract (I used a peppermint and spearmint blend), 3 cups vodka. Shake and bottle, let age 2 weeks.

The fresh mint version is basically the same, except you make your own extract first by putting the mint and vodka together for a couple of weeks, then straining it out and adding the sugar. My mint is spearmint, so it will be sweeter. But based on a tip I read at this excellent liqueur site, I added a peppercorn to the mixture to sharpen the flavor. I'll post again once it's finished.

Now, my Creme de Menthe isn't quite "ripe" yet, but I decided to try it out anyway. I decided to make one with a cream base to balance any harshness. Luckily, CocktailDB has many excellent recipes. I picked a demure-sounding cocktail called Atlanta Belle.

1 oz Bourbon (Blanton's--it has a horsey on the stopper. It just seemed to fit.)
.75 oz Creme de Menthe (mine)
.75 oz Creme de Cacao (Potter's)
1 oz cream
Shake with ice and pour into a sour glass.

Well, it's pretty much what you'd expect. Minty and sweet. The mint was pretty harsh, but I think it was mellowed by the bourbon and cream enough. Also, it is strangely addictive. I kind of want another one. I think it's the mint. But I suppose I should be careful. I don't want to end up on my own bathroom floor with mint-flavored regrets.


Blogger AnastasiaC said...

Let us know how your Creme De Menthe experiment went?? does it taste OK or lethal??

10:53 PM  
Blogger Cocktail Jen said...

The extract-based one is ok, although it's supposed to mellow for another week or so still. The fresh mint one has at least a month to go before it's ready to taste.

11:21 PM  

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