Mojitos


Okay...it's April 26th, May is only days away, and this morning it was 34F and so foggy I can't see the oak trees 40 feet from my back deck! Really, Mother Nature!?!?!? Do you hate Bear Valley Springs? I'm beginning to think so. Even my dog has refused to be outside one second longer than it takes her to do the 'doggy business'. Let me not forget to mention the wind...the 50+ MPH wind (no I'm not joking). I've said it at least 1,000 times "If we had wind like this back in Charleston, SC everyone would be leaving...BECAUSE THERE IS A HURRICANE COMING!!!!!" I knew when I saw the windmill farm above the town, we were in trouble...so much for good hair days!


I need some tropical relief! So here is one of my favorite recipes for taking me away to some island somewhere warm and lovely. (By the way...I came by this recipe a while back at www.foodnetwork.com , it is one of Emeril Lagase's recipes.)Here it is!





Pina Colada Mojito

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lime, cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup crushed or chipped ice
  • 1 tablespoons Mint Syrup, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk     
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple flavored rum
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flavored rum
  • Sparkling water
  • Sugar cane sticks, for garnish
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions
Muddle cocktail

Place lime pieces in a 12-ounce glass and top with mint leaves and cane sugar. Using a muddler, crush the lime pieces while bruising the mint with the sugar. Fill the glass just below the rim with the ice. Add the mint syrup, coconut milk, pinapple juice, pineapple rum and the coconut rum. Use a shaker to vigorously shake the contents of the glass together for at least 30 seconds. Pour the mojito back in the glass, and top off the glass with sparkling water. Place a sugar cane stick in each glass and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.

MINT SYRUP:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup chopped mint.
Bring everything to a gentle boil on the stove over high heat. Allow the sugar to completely dissolve. Remove from the heat and let the mix stand for 1 hour to steep the mint. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the mint leaves and bits. Chill and hold for up to 6 months in the fridge.

Properties and benefits of Mint

Because of its active compounds contained, mint has sedative, disinfectant and cicatrizing properties. It can be successfully used in gastro-intestinal disorders; it helps the liver and calms indigestion. It contains menthol, menthone, menthofuran, a-pinene, limonene, cardinene, acetic aldehide, isovaleriana, vitamin C and antibiotic substances.

Treatments
Because of its menthol, mint has a very good action over the digestive system, causing a small anesthesia of the gastric mucous membrane. It also stimulates digestion.

Mint can treat diarrhea, gastric fever or toxic infections. It stimulates the biliary secretion and helps the digestion of fats.

It is recommended in cases of asthma, bronchitis and the flu because of its antispasmodic and sedative properties. Sinusitis can be treated with mint also, because menthol is a vasodilatator of the nasal mucous membrane. It can be used as an inhalation in small amounts as well as for chest massages.

Mental fatigue, stress, depressive states and headaches can be ameliorated if mint oil is applied over the temples and backhead. Mint oil is a powerful stimulant and tonic. Mint is recommended for the treatment of rheumatism, for disinfection of the oral pocket and in cases of ear inflammation. Due to the fact that it has an antibacterial action it can cure acne and blackheads.


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