April 2, 2007

Summer Glasses & Summer Drinks

If you're like me, you're gearing up for the summer drinking season. Even though it was early, I started two weeks ago with a mojito on the patio of our favourite Cuban restaurant on the water. You have to have the right glass for the right drink, and I found some fun glasses that would enhance a mojito (although this looks suspiciously like Lemonade!).The Kentucky Derby is in a few weeks, so I am encouraging my mint plants to start growing and putting out leaves so I can snip them off to be used for the traditional mint juleps. Of course, you must use a silver mint julep cup for them, and I just don't know what I will do this year, since the ones I had were stolen in December. They were presents from my cousin, with whom I shared a multi-great grandfather who was the Commissary General of the Confederate Army.

Another favourite summer drink, which is similar to the two above, is the Southside, somewhat indiginous to Long Island and the suburbs of Baltimore, and most often found in the WASPiest of country club settings. This is best served in a long, tall glass. The glass below is from Williams-Sonoma and is made from DuraClear, which looks and feels like glass, but is unbreakable, a must when you've had too many of these delicious drinks... they tend to sneak up on you!


1 teaspoon powdered sugarJuice from 1 lime (2 ounces)

4 mint leaves

1 sprig of mint Havana Club white Rum (2 ounces)

2 ounces club soda

There are countless recipes for the Mojito (prounced moh-HEE-toh), but this version is for the one Hemingway himself enjoyed at the Mojito's place of birth: La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba.

Place the mint leaves into a long mojito glass (often called a "collins" glass) and squeeze the juice from a cut lime over it. You'll want about two ounces of lime juice, so it may not require all of the juice from a single lime. Add the powdered sugar, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and sugar with a muddler (a long wooden device, though you can also use the back of a fork or spoon if one isn't available). Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Sprigs of fresh mint

Crushed ice


Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

1-2 oz Vodka and/or white rum

1/2 oz Triple sec

2 oz Lime juice or lemon-lime juice


Some Mint leaves

1-2 oz Soda water

Mixing instructions:
Add all ingredients to blender including one mint leaf as it will be blended up and leave little specks at top of drink. After drink is complete add other whole mint leaves. A lime wedge can also be added. Amount of soda water should be added according to how strong the lemon-lime solution is.


  1. let's not forget another old- timey favorite...The Ice Pick.
    simply iced tea and vodka served in a tall glass.

    what great recipes for an equally great day. I for one am working on the deck.

  2. Is it cocktail time yet??? I wish! They all sound good!
    PS- How interesting that your great-great,etc. grandfather was Commissary General!

  3. Peak... the book I linked to is by one of my American cousins, who lives in the UK (a brilliant little place called Broadway in the Costwolds!).

  4. I've never been one for liquor - I am a beer man myself. Though I've never had a mint julep, I always had played with the idea of trying one.

    No Civil War royalty in my background. But I did have a great grandfather - an English immigrant (one of only a few) - who came to the US around the time of the Civil War. Family legend has it that he was threatened with deportation if he didn't fight for the Union. Immigrants were quite likely to support the Union, so I assume he fought willingly. And of course, he was in western Maryland, where there was far more support for the Union than in much of the state.

  5. Fun post! So sorry you lost your silver julep cups.

  6. I'm going to have to try the Southside, never heard of it. I took a shot at dirty martinis the other night and it didn't turn out so well...think olive juice gone sour. ugh.


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