Here’s the thing: I’m not a fan of hot weather. I’m all for beach vacations near the calming sound of ocean waves, sand between my toes and all that jazz. But generally suffocatingly hot weather is not my idea of a good time. Living in Minnesota this was never much of an issue. Summer is short and sweet in Minnesota. Ending with the Minnesota State Fair as a signal of cooler days to come, summer blows by with some heat and humidity, but it disappears quickly into golden colored fall days. Crunchy leaves, cool breezes, hot apple cider and sweaters take the place of days on the boat, cool drinks, and tank tops. Tokyo, on the other hand, holds onto heavy, hot air until October. Which often times leaves me feeling uncomfortable after only 2 minutes standing outside. Add on having to ride my bicycle everywhere and you’ve got one crabby Tokyo Terrace resident.
It’s not all grumbling and griping though. Despite my own personal issues with the current weather situation, it provide a good excuse to drink fun cocktails like this Thai Basil & Mint Mojito. After 3 months in the U.S., I came back to my little herb garden in Japan to find it completely overgrown with Thai basil and mint. The plants reached out of their pots in winding, twisting shapes reaching for rain and sun and just begging to be used in an icy drink.
I use cane sugar in my mojitos because I find it to be more easily dissolved. And it lends a slightly toasted sugar flavor without being crazy sweet. You can use regular sugar too, but you might want to reduce the amount depending on how sweet you like your drinks. If you are a hot weather hater like me right now, it’s probably time to make this. Go on! Make it!
Thai Basil & Mint Mojito
Makes 1 cocktail
1/4 cup loosely packed mint and thai basil (or other basil) leaves
1 tablespoon cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
3 oz. white rum
4-6 oz. tonic water
In the bottom of the glass, combine the mint and basil leaves, sugar and rum. Muddle everything together until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ice and top with the tonic water and lime juice. Stir gently to combine. Serve very cold. Immediately.