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Spearmint leaves (not peppermint!)
Optional alcohol and spices - see below
Muddle one lemon, sliced into wedges, a small handful of mint, and 1-2 Tbsp of sugar in a cocktail shaker (though you can use anything that has a secure lid and holds about 24 ounces).
Fill with ice, add 1 1/2 ounces of water, seal, and shake until ice cold. Strain into a water or Collins glass filled with fresh ice and optionally, more crushed mint.
You can top with seltzer and stir gently for a longer drink. Optionally garnish with a fresh mint spring and/or lemon wheel.
Add 2 cups of ice, 2-3 Tbsp sugar, 3 ounces of water, a big handful of mint leaves, and the juice of two lemons to a good blender. Blend everything until slushy. Serve in water glasses with a straw and optionally garnish with a lemon wheel and/or mint sprig.
You can add other fresh aromatics including: jalapeño, ginger, or cilantro. Other citrus are great too, try adding or substituting orange or lime.
The basic recipe uses white sugar, but try Demerara, palm, or maple for fun new flavors.
Mottainai tip: start by making a rich simple syrup (boil 2 cups sugar with 1 cup water). Infuse the hot syrup with lemon zest and finely chopped mint stems (plus any leaves that are too small to easily use in the limonana). Strain after 15 minutes, and store in the fridge for up to a month. Less waste!
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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