Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fresh Mint Limeade

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and to commemorate the holiday, Robert and I hosted some friends for a cookout to celebrate the beginning of summer. I mentioned to Robert earlier in the weekend that somehow it just doesn't feel like memorial weekend without burgers on the grill and friends to enjoy them with and before I knew it, he was orchestrating such an event! What a sweet husband!

While beer is always a natural pairing with burgers, I decided I wanted to have a beverage available that was refreshing and non-alcoholic for our guests who choose not to drink alcohol. This recipe was inspired by the limeade offered at one of my favorite latin restaurants here in Dallas, Gloria's. I recently left my job at the City of Dallas for a new career in consulting, and on my last day at the City, my friends and colleagues threw me a surprise farewell lunch at Gloria's. It was a treat. During that lunch I had their limeade which included fresh mint. What a revelation! It was just like a virgin mojito only more refreshing.

I knew then that I had to try my hand at making my own version, this recipe is the result of my efforts. I think it tastes cool and refreshing and would be perfect when enjoyed by the pool under the hot, summer sun. If you have an aversion to mint or are allergic, you could easily omit it and the limeade would still be delightful by itself.

Since this recipe includes tonic water, I want to take a minute to give my personal opinion on what brand to use. In most grocery stores you have three options when it comes to tonic water: Canada Dry, Schwepps and generic. No matter how much you may be tempted by the price, do not get the generic your drink will definitely suffer. Additionally, Schwepps has a far superior taste than Canada Dry. So, if you want to do this beverage its proper justice, or any other tonic based drink for that matter, the only option is Schwepps. Ok, I'll get down off my soap box and continue with the recipe.

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Fresh Mint Limeade
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar8 small limes, juiced plus more for the glasses
6 cups water
2 cups tonic water
fresh mint leaves

In a small saucepan combine the 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.
Bring to a boil to completely melt the sugar.
Set the simple syrup aside and let cool before moving forward.
Meanwhile, juice the 8 limes to make about 3/4 cup lime juice.
Pour into a half gallon pitcher.
Add 6 cups of water,
2 cups of tonic water,
and the half cup of simple syrup. Stir to combine.
In a glass, place 5 mint leaves in the bottom.
Using a muddler, or the handle end of a wooden spoon, muddle the mint leaves to release their oil.
Depending on the size of your glass add a quarter or a half of a lime to the mint and muddle as well.
Top off with ice.
Pour in the limeade and stir to incorporate the muddled mint and lime. Enjoy!
 I thought I'd also include a picture of Robert enjoying his glass. He agrees, pure refreshment!
Stay tuned tomorrow for the blue cheese burger recipe we enjoyed last night as well. Trust me, it's a keeper!

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