Archive for the ‘ Drinks ’ Category

The Mojito

And we’re back! Apologies for the recent lull in posts–it’s not we haven’t been making delicious food and drinks, it’s that we’ve been too busy enjoying it that we’ve neglected to post in a timely manner. We’ll do our best in the future.

Given the recent warm weather, Maciek and I decided that it was appropriate to delve into more of the summer drinks. The mojito was a drink recipe that I had discovered the summer of my freshman year and have been perfecting ever since. However, the traditional recipe calls for mint, sugar/gomme syrup, white rum, lime, and soda water.  I’ve always found this a bit troublesome so instead of the sugar + soda water, it’s easier to use Sprite–plus, it already has some lime flavor. Oh, and a slight amount of triple sec is added for good measure.

J&M Mojito Recipe

  • 2 oz. Bacardi White Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice or 1/2 of a lime.
  • 6-12 Spearmint Leaves
  • Sprite

Cut up half a lime into 4 pieces and squeeze the juice into a bowl–add mint leaves, rum, triple sec and muddle with the back end of a shot glass (mortar and pestle would be ideal but we made do with what we had). This step is crucial in order to release the oils of the mint leaves. Afterwards, fill 2/3 of a highball glass with ice and leftover lime wedges (you may also choose to rim the glass with sugar beforehand). Pour the rum/mint mixture into the glass, top off with sprite, give it a quick stir with a spoon, garnish with a sprig of mint, and you’re all set.

Maciek and I have gone through numerous drinks–all complete awesome. But on a hot summer day, the mojito is beyond awesome. The coupling of mint and citrus, the sweetness cutting out the edge of alcohol all lends to a delicious, refreshing beverage. Enjoy.



The Vesper

When one thinks of cocktails + cinema, the most popular scenes that come to mind are those of James Bond ordering a classic dry vodka martini, “shaken, not stirred”. However, in the 2006 release of Casino Royale (based on Ian Fleming’s first novel in the series), Bond instead orders a different drink.

BOND: Dry Martini.
BARTENDER: Oui, monsieur.
BOND: Wait… three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.


Heck, if it’s good enough for James Bond, then we figured that for mere college students it must be all sorts of delicious.

For our choice in vodka, we stuck with our favorite, Sobieski, which at a low price point sacrifices little in regards to quality. Definitely a good choice for those on a budget. For the gin, we went with the Bombay Sapphire–a bit pricey but given the huge differences between various gins, we weren’t taking any chances and in our humble opinion, better than Gordon’s.  And for the Lillet: finding this gave us quite a bit of trouble. Lillet is an French apertif wine consisting of a blend of wine and orange liqueurs.  Nowhere to be found in either EV1 or Jewel, luckily we stumbled across this single bottle of Lillet’ Lillet Blanc at Argyle after grabbing some Pho for lunch (Kina Lillet is no longer in production).

J&M Vesper

  • 3 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 oz. Sobieski Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet Blanc
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 lemon twist

We added the Gin, Vodka, and Lillet in our ice-filled shaker and shook vigorously for a good 10 seconds. After pouring the concoction through the strainer into a martini glass, Maciek carved out a lemon peel. After a light twist over the drink to release the oils, we dropped it in and viola!  And what drink it was–it was quite strong and much of the gin taste carried through but unlike a regular martini (or bradford, if shaken),the substitution of the vermouth by the Lillet gave the drink a very, very slight sweetness which helped balance out the stiffness of the gin/vodka. Overall, a very good choice if one is in need of a strong drink and doesn’t want another run-of-the-mill martini. 😀

Stay tuned for more updates! Maciek will be putting up a post about our beef noodle soup that we made soon. Time for sleep!


The Orange Martini

Later on, post-food coma, Maciek and I decided it was time to begin crafting a suitable beverage.  After discovering a recipe for one “Orange Martini” (original here:, we decided it sounded simply too delicious to pass up! The original called for Valencia Oranges–still don’t really know what those are–so we decided to add our own twist to it and bought a couple blood oranges and mandarins.

Next, we needed to procure a vodka on a student budget but without sacrificing too much quality. At $11 a bottle and a taste that beats outs the likes of much more expensive Stolichnaya, Sobieski, a Vodka produced in Maciek’s homeland of Poland, was our clear winner (pictured below with a Willard “toothpick holder”).

As for triple sec, we go with Dekruper’s Triple Sec because it was cheap (no buying Grand Marnier or Cointreau) and we decided to skip the Orange Bitters altogether.

J&M Orange Martini Recipe

  • Juice from 1 blood orange + 1 mandarin orange
  • 2 oz. Sobieski Vodka
  • 0.5 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cocktail shaker

We squeezed the juice from the oranges into the shaker with ice–to our dismay, what we thought were blood oranges appeared to be your run-of-the-mill oranges! Damn you Whole Foods! Oh well, we then continued to add the vodka + triple sec, shook vigorously for several seconds, and served in a martini glass. Oh, and for presentation’s sake, Maciek painstakingly made a knot out the orange peel. And ta-da!

We present the Orange Martini. Cold and refreshing, it was an excellent end to a long week.

Woohoo! Now back to studying–more posts next weekend!