The Mint Canary Mojito
This mojito cocktail is in honor of the Oscar nominated movie, Zero Dark Thirty. It’s bright with lemon, mint and rum.
The Oscars Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty has caused a bit of a stir. It’s the most controversial Best Picture Nominee that I can remember. This controversy made it a bit difficult to come up with a drink for the film. The subject matter of the movie is dark with torture and killing.
Hard to shrug my shoulders and say, “Well, let’s drink to that!”
I decided to celebrate the Navy SEAL team, called Canaries in the film, with a yellow drink. And to soothe it a bit with the Middle Eastern flavor of mint tea. The rum has no real explanation. I know that it doesn’t fit. But if you have mint and you have citrus you almost have a Mojito so that’s where I went with it.
Wait! Maybe I can make it fit in with this movie!
Let’s go with this: Mojitos were a popular drink in the U.S. during the time period of the movie (according to Nick Vagnoni over at Huffpost Food, Mojitos were added to the TGI Friday’s menu around 2006 and that’s when we started to see pre-made Mojito mixes in stores).
So then, this drink celebrates the Nave SEAL canaries with it’s bright yellow color, it nods to the Middle Eastern setting of some of the movie with the mint tea and it captures the time when the movie was set with a drink typical of the era.
And this mojito cocktail tastes darned good.
Mint Canary Mojito Cocktail
This drink tastes a bit like a Mojito but is mellower due to the mint flavor coming from tea rather than from fresh mint leaves. A good dose of lemon brightens the drink but also adds to the soothing quality from the tea.
For the mint tea:
- 2 mint teabags (not orange pekoe tea with mint. You want the naturally caffien-free kind of tea that just contains dried mint leaves)
- 1 and ½ cups boiling water
- 1 tbsp honey (or more to taste)
To make the cocktail:
- 1 lemon
- 6 ounces sweetened and chilled mint tea
- 2 ounce white rum
Make the tea:
- Put the tea bags in a measuring cup. Add 1 and ½ cups boiling water. Stir the tea bags a bit and then let then steep for 5-7 minutes. Add the honey. Taste the tea. It should have a strong mint flavor and should be mildly sweet. If you want it sweeter you can add more honey. Remove the tea bags, squeezing them a bit to get the last bits of flavored water out of them.
- Add ½ cup of ice cubes.Stir. Once the ice cubes have melted, you can immediately make the Mint Canary above or put lots of ice in a glass and pour the tea over top to drink it plain. Alternatively, you can chill the tea in the fridge for up to 2 days if you'd like to make it ahead of time.
To prepare the cocktail:
- Cut a lemon in half such that your two cut surfaces are circles (as opposed to two oval cut surfaces). Give one of the lemon halves a single good squeeze over a bowl. Do the same with the other lemon half. Use a spoon to scoop out any seeds. Pour the lemon juice into a cocktail shaker. Put each lemon half into a martini glass, cut side down.
- Add the mint tea, rum and a lot of ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake it up and then strain it over the lemon halves, divvying up the liquid among the two martini glasses.
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