Sunday, July 25, 2004

Summer cocktails for the Houston heat

Whatever relief we enjoyed during June's endless rainstorms evaporated in July. When Houston's heat is too much to handle and you want a refreshing cocktail to enjoy in your pad, here are a few concoctions that will bring a chill to your day:

The Gin Smash was around long before Mojitos became the cocktail to drink. Similar in style, the recipe is amazingly simple to follow:

1 tbsp sugar
4 sprigs fresh mint (peppermint or spearmint are fine)
3 tbsp gin

Dissolve the sugar in a little water in your cocktail shaker. Add the mint and, using a muddler, bruise and press the juices out of the leaves. Then add plenty of crushed ice and the gin. Shake for about 20 seconds. Strain into a small glass filled with crushed ice. If desired, add fresh mint sprigs to garnish.

Now... if you do like Mojitos, below is a typical recipe. For a slightly different variation, use a flavored light rum like Cruzan Citrus Rum or Bacardi Limon.

1 1/2 oz light rum
1 lime, squeezed
2 sprigs of fresh mint
1 tsp sugar
club soda

Dissolve the sugar in the lime juice in your cocktail shaker. Add the mint and, using a muddler, bruise and press the juices out of the leaves. Add the rum and plenty of ice and shake for about twenty seconds. Pour into a collins glass filled with plenty of ice and then top off with club soda. Do not shake with the club soda or it will become flat.

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