Several of the girls there had just returned from a semester abroad in Brazil. There, they had become very good friends with a concoction called the caipirinha. To make this drink, you use a big stout wooden stick called a muddler to mash a bunch of limes up before mixing them with liquor. My main job at the getting-ready-preparty was to muddle up these drinks for them. Now that I reflect on this experience, I feel like they should have at least tipped me!
Our CSA delivered us several stalks of applemint today. It tastes like a mild variety of mint, without the burning pungency of spearmint, but with the same scent. I sniffed it and immediately thought "mojitos." Like the caipirinha, this Cuban drink uses a muddler (or just the handle of a wooden spoon, in my case). And I was transported back to those first awkward months away at school that are somehow now ten years ago.
This drink is crisp and refreshing - a perfect way to utilize the mint that is starting to proliferate with the season.
10 leaves applemint
1/2 lime, cut into four wedges
2 T sugar
1 1/2 oz light rum
1/2 C club soda
Put the mint leaves and one lime wedge in the bottom of a sturdy pint-size glass. Mash them up thoroughly together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
Add two more lime wedges and the sugar and muddle together again.
Fill the glass almost all the way with ice. Pour the rum over the ice and top off with club soda. Stir it up and enjoy!