Thursday, March 13, 2008
It was a simple addition. Two throw pillows on the couch, a lamp, and a coordinating shade. But suddenly my apartment went from "work in progress" to "grown-up place to live." This was, indeed, exactly what I had been working towards, but instead of delighting in my well-put-together room, I found the change alarming.
Though I have been out of college for a few years now, I never quite stopped living like a college student -- sparse furniture, hand-me-downs, that sort of thing. Since I hardly owned any furnishing of value, when it came time to move to Seattle, I decided I would skip the moving truck entirely and just buy new furniture after I arrived. (Everything else, including my entire kitchen, traveled via UPS.) Since accumulating good furniture is a somewhat pricey course to take -- unless you, like me, watch Craigslist like a vulture -- it has taken me a while to put my apartment together. However, I finally have enough nice pieces in one room to make it look like a grown-up actually lives there -- a somewhat scary realization for someone who spent the last 3 years sleeping on a bent futon. Even if the idea isn't particularly comforting, at least the reality is certainly more comfortable.
And while I'm on the subject of adult things, why not give you the recipe for an adult beverage? This is the second half of last week's Cookies & Cocktails event. In my opinion (as if you'd find anything else on this blog), the mojito is a drink you should definitely make from scratch -- no mixes. The mint simple syrup really adds something extra to this cocktail, so don't omit it. (And why would you? It's simple -- as the name suggests -- and you can make it days in advance, if you want.) Does this recipe yield the world's best mojito? I'm not sure I've tried enough of them to judge on that level, but this is definitely my standby method. Cool, refreshing, and completely perfect with lime-glazed cookies for a party. (Plus, I took the tips from this guy, and it sounds like he did all the research for me.)
Please note that this recipe does not make a traditional mojito (so don't leave comments telling me how to do it the "right" way). Purists would use a silver rum, among other things, whereas I have suggested a gold. If you really want to mix things up (pun completely intended), you can swap out the club soda for Champagne, sparkling wine, or ginger beer.
Tips taken from My Whim is Law
Mint Simple Syrup
Yields about 2 cups
1 cup water
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup mint leaves
Assembly instructions below are for 1 cocktail. Adjust accordingly.
Fresh mint leaves
Club soda or sparkling or seltzer water
Gold rum (I used Mount Gay)
Lime wedges or mint leaves for garnish
To make the simple syrup:
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the water, brown sugar, and white sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the mint leaves, and allow them to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the leaves from the cooled mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the cocktail:
Pour 1 ounce of simple syrup in a tall, sturdy glass or shaker, and add a handful of mint leaves (6-12). Muddle this together gently (with this or the blunt instrument of your choice), then add a handful of crushed ice to the glass and muddle the mixture a bit more.
Add 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of rum, 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1-2 dashes of the bitters. Stir vigorously (or cover, shake, and then pour into a separate glass if you’re using the shaker).
Top off the glass with club soda (or sparkling or seltzer water) and garnish as desired.