My sister said:
Speaking of cocktails, my brother makes a delicious Minted-Vodka Lemonade that is perfect for a hot summer’s day. You wouldn’t happen to have that recipe, would you?
You are absolutely right that it is perfect for a summer day. In the interest of full disclosure, the drink is not my own, I found the recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit magazine many years ago, and adopted it into my repertoire.
It’s not a particularly distant cousin to the mojito or the whiskey smash, and it’s perfectly easy to make. The drink improves, however, if its ingredients macerate overnight, so it does require a bit of forethought. As its name suggests, the drink is made from mint, lemons, sugar, and vodka.
To begin with, combine equal parts of minced mint, granulated sugar and lemon juice. (For example, 1 cup of minced mint, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1 cup of lemon juice.) Muddle them in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for as long as you can stand, preferably overnight. In the meantime, you will have crushed 10 or so cups of ice to a medium (1/3 inch) grain. When you are ready to mix the drinks, strain the lemon/sugar/mint mixture into a second bowl through a fine mesh sieve. colander or strainer, using your muddler to extrude as much liquid as possible. Fill a narrow highball, hurricane, or old-fashioned glass with crushed ice add 2 oz of the minted lemon mixture. Add 4 oz vodka and stir to blend. Top with soda water and garnish with a mint sprig and thinly sliced lemon wheel.
You would do well to remember Dorothy Parker’s maxim when drinking this. Though she spoke of martinis, it still applies:
“I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”