Last week was a Lot. I ventured into it buzzing with adorably ambitious New Year’s intentions to, like, get things done, and spent most of it glued to a screen, furious and frustrated. As I mentioned in this morning’s newsletter, I’ve often felt that January is a blur and this one is particularly so. Armed insurrections are not a subject I know how to discuss in any meaningful way in a recipe headnote. But if you’re feeling like you’re in a fog, do know that you’re not alone.
Because feeding times at my zoo must go on as scheduled or it gets particularly feral around here, I did make three new things last week, all from The Flavor Equation [Amazon, Bookshop], a fascinating new cookbook from Nik Sharma in which he uses his molecular biology background to apply what he knows about the science of taste to recipe development. He also has an excellent palate, demonstrated through years of blogging at A Brown Table. I made the book’s shaved brussels sprout salad with crispy shallots, the coconut chicken curry, and then, because it sounded so impossibly refreshing, this lemon and lime mintade. It was inspired by one Sharma had on a long intentional flight that, although 16 hours long, sounds positively dreamy right now, some 1600 weeks into this pandemic.
The approach here is very simple: Zest two lemons and limes. Sharma doesn’t like the microplane zester, preferring a cocktail zester; Deb has a cocktail zester but finds it annoying, is fine with the microplane zester, but really loves this type of serrated peeler (it excels at removing thin skins, like those of peaches and tomatoes, hardly a bad investment). In short: you have options. Then, make a simple syrup with sugar and water, add the zest and a good fistful of mint leaves and let it all chill together. Juice the lemons and limes and add the juice to the cooled syrup, strain it, and pour it halfway up a glass filled with ice, filling the rest with seltzer. Take a big sip that’s hopefully refreshing, clarifying, energizing, and several other -ings that my swamp brain could use a jolt of right now. I hope you find it equally magical.
6 months ago: Kachumber Cooler
1 year ago: Roasted Squash and Tofu with Ginger
2 years ago: Plush Coconut Cake
3 years ago: Sheet Pan Meatballs with Crispy Turmeric Chickpeas
4 years ago: Chocolate Dutch Baby
5 years ago: Blood Orange, Almond, and Ricotta Cake and Cabbage and Sausage Casserole
6 years ago: Key Lime Pie and Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
7 years ago: Pear and Hazelnut Muffins and Warm Lentil and Potato Salad
8 years ago: Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic
9 years ago: Buttermilk Roast Chicken
10 years ago: Baked Potato Soup
11 years ago: Black Bean Soup + Toasted Cumin Seed Crema and Cranberry Syrup and an Intensely Almond Cake
12 years ago: Clementine Cake and Mushroom Bourguignon
13 years ago: Chicken Caesar Salad and Fried Chicken
14 years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Lemon and Lime Mintade
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (235 ml) water
- 2 large limes
- 2 medium-large lemons
- 1 bunch (about 2 ounces or 55 grams) fresh mint leaves and stems
- 3 cups (720 ml) chilled club soda or seltzer
Meanwhile, juice your lemons and limes. You want 1 cup total, half lemon and half lime juice. Once mint-zest syrup has chilled, strain out the solids and add the lemon and lime juice to the syrup. You can chill this juice-syrup mixture until needed, or up to one week in the fridge.
To serve: Fill a medium-sized glass with ice. Fill halfway with juice-syrup mixture, and the rest of the way with seltzer. Garnish with reserved mint leaves. Drink immediately.
60 comments on lemon and lime mintade
seeing this recipe instantly transports me to a world of travel and beaches that seem like a distant memory right now. thank you. and because I’m gritting my teeth through a boozeless (by choice) January right now, I’m already thinking of what I could splash into this to ease into month 18,294 of quarantine. Vodka? Gin? even without though, this will make the rest of this month go by that much easier.
If you want to start early with changing it up, maybe orange blossom water would make a good add-in during your dry January?
Either? White rum would probably be excellent as well….somewhere between a mojito and a daiquiri.
I was also going to recommend rum. Specifically, Bacardi Limon plays very nicely with any citrus product. There was the time we had a batch of homemade lemonade with rum when I accidentally got my elderly aunt blotto over dinner. Whoops! Good times!
Deep Eddy Lemon (or plain) Vodka would be amazing!
I did vodka and it was amazing!
Tip: freeze the solids for later use, I add them to muffins 😋
These are so good with vodka!
This sounds like just the ticket. In addition to the rest of the resident global madness I got braces this week (at 59 no less!) and may need a refreshing blast of deliciousness….
Totally easy, refreshing, delicious, and cheerful. Thank you for this, and so many other spot-on recipes through the years. Grateful!
This is what I needed. I’m standing in the kitchen at 4:00pm drinking a glass (a small one…out of my grandmother’s Boopie juice glasses) because things feel so overwhelming. We eat our main meal at mid day because we are firmly entrenched in middle age and because we can, so I have eaten today (homemade potato soup with also homemade rye bread…and about 1/4 of the same grandmother’s recipe for chocolate pound cake).
The idea of zesting 4 fruits with a cocktail zester makes my wrist ache! Long live the Microplane! One of my most favorite kitchen tools!
Deb, your recipes are reliably tasty and I always enjoy your perspectives on food and life. But I particularly appreciate this: “Armed insurrections are not a subject I know how to discuss in any meaningful way in a recipe headnote.” Because cooking is part of life, not divorced from reality. So, thank you.
Holy Cow! I am with you on the fog thing. Also on the Nik Sharma book!! I bought it (and I don’t buy many cookbooks) after seeing a Food52 Genius recipe for sweet potatoes along with his explanation. I haven’t tried this yet, but will … and I just might also add a splash of gin to see if that will break down the fog :)
We bought Nik’s cookbook because of the sweet potato recipe too! SO GOOD!
We’ve enjoyed this cookbook and this drink! Kids really enjoyed it in fancy glasses too.
This reminds me of my childhood, around 1960 in Melbourne Australia. After I went to the dentist downtown, my mother would take me to a swanky ice cream parlor called Daryl Lea, where I would be allowed to have a lime-mint freeze. I think it had vanilla ice cream in it, as well as a lime-mint syrup and something fizzy. As of today, the frost hasn’t killed the mint in my garden, so I might just have to make this!
Drinking this with seltzer or tonic water as a summer cooler. Yum!
Seriously! The emotional drain of the last year just about toppled me with the absolute shit show in DC. America, straighten up!
PS both your double chocolate banana bread and light wheat bread were thoroughly enjoyed last week.
I feel when zesting it’s particularly
important to use organic fruit.
Here’s to all long flights being intentional, it’s hard to jump off if you boarded by accident ;)
Happy new year!
Haha I was checking to see if anyone else had caught this. In this pandemic time it seems that all flights must be very intentional, if not also international.
Lol, it’s a perfect typo.
Thanks for not trying to distill what has happened in the past week into a soundbite. And thanks for the beginning of a great drink….. I make this same concoction in the summer but add bourbon to the mix. It’s like a combo mint julep/whisky sour. (A sour julep?) Even though it’s definitely not summer, bourbon is multi seasonal, so add a shot of it to your glass, splash a little seltzer on top and let’s take a deep breath and look to the future.
I was just going to suggest that – love the taste (but not the punch) of a whisky sour.
I noticed a typo in the third paragraph. I believe you mean to ADD the juice.
“Juice the lemons and limes and the juice to the cooled syrup,”
My husband and I buy bags of lemons and limes when on sale. I zest the fruit for baking and freeze the juice. Makes for quick additions to recipes. I now know what I’m going to do with all the zest as I never use it fast enough.
Happy January ;)
Whoops, thanks. Now fixed.
I always love your voice Deb! And your recipes! :) Fog – yes, funk – yes, zoo – yes! Thanks for the recipe! Hugs from MN!
This may be my first ever comment on your site, and i’m doing so not because the recipe looks delicious (although it certainly does), but because you used the words “armed insurrection” from the get-go. How refreshing (like the recipe!) to see the realities of the day reflected in such an unexpected place. Thank you. From the bottom of my aching heart, thank you.
The only thing this recipe is missing is Gin…
Thanks for addressing this week in a reasonable way. I feel the hurt and fog too.
May I ask which glasses you are using here? I’m looking to replace my chipped glasses and I love the size and thickness of these!
They are Duralex Picardie. This is the 8.75-ounce size; I also have them in 11.5-ounce ones (which I like for “petite” milkshakes).
Hi Deb! How long do you think this would last in teh fridge (minus the seltzer of course)? Thanks!
Ah I just saw I must have read over that – up to a week in the fridge. Thanks! ;)
Up to one week.
Could you tell me about the juicer you are using? I find that lately I need an alternative to my reamer. Thanks!
I have the Breville citrus juicer (https://amzn.to/2GY9J77) but I used to have this Citristar one (https://amzn.to/2GX7mkS) for years and it was great, I just wanted something faster once it had run its course.
yum…. thinking that this would also be excellent with blood oranges, now that they’re in season!
So funny, I was just about to suggest the same thing! Would leave out the mint, right? But a blood orange syrup would be delicious. They’re about the only thing getting me through this…bloody winter.
We make this lemon/lime/mint syrup into popsicles in our house! Good for sore throats, hot days, post-workout snacks, or swizzle-sticking into drinks. We made a batch this past Saturday and today my 11 year old saw this site and announced that Smitten Kitchen was “reading our minds”. Hope you are healthy and safe.
This is so refreshing! Even better with a tiny bit of gin :)
Hi Deb! Looks delish! Wonder if you recommend that countertop burner I’ve been seeing in your stories? I’m looking for something similar. Thank you as always!
It’s just a cheap camping stove — butane canister.
This is so good. Worth the work of zesting and juicing and making ice cubes. :-) I wonder if the juice-syrup mixture would freeze? I may experiment with that. (I don’t normally have ice cubes in my freezer. For some reason I don’t use them enough). Thanks for the lovely recipe. I’m in Orange County, CA and it’s supposed to be in the 80’s this week. We appear to be skipping winter this year.
It occurred to me today that under stress, your digestive system slows down, and that this might be the exact reason “comfort food” is heavy. This looks like the perfect antidote. Thanks as ever for your lovely nook in the inter-webs.
Very tasty with some changes.
Used all limes as I have a Persian & Key Lime trees.
Added a handful of Mint w/o weighing.
Used about 1 inch of Ginger root – sliced.
After bringing to a boil, I let it sit on a trivet for a half day to “steep” the Ginger.
I added about 3/4 inch to a 12 ounce glass (to reduce sugar) and added 1 large ice-cube and the rest cold sparkling water.
It was very tasty – thanks for photos and post/recipe.
This sounds very bright and refreshing. Just what one needs during the dark Winter months + quarantine blues. I’m very thankful for citrus this time of year and use them in various ways to bring ‘sunshine’ to my life: salads, sauces for braised meats, cakes, drinks, and of course fresh eating.
*side thought: I’m loving the “previously on this blog” lists lately and notice how I’ve made nearly all of them from recent posts in one variation or another.
This was amazing! Sweet, tart, bubbly everything you need for a perfect drink. I added some vodka to one and it was just perfect.
Armed insurrection? Did I miss something? One victim of excessive police force. I saw a fairly peaceful riot, no fires, no stores being stripped of their goods, etc. Outrageous yes, but I’ve been outraged since May. As Nancy said, people will do what they do…
As to this recipe, anything citrus is my love language.
Oh my goodness…just reading this makes my mouth water! I’m taking a break from alcohol for a while and have been interested in ideas to make fizzy water a little more snazzy. This fits the bill perfectly! Can’t wait to try it.
5 months pregnant and craving a mojito in a bad way. This sounds like it might help!
Didn’t have seltzer but I DID have tonic, and it really hit the spot – the slight bitterness gave me the satisfaction of a cocktail, without the actual booze. Dry January friendly!
I didn’t have mint, used a handful of basil instead. Made a delicious, summery tasting drink. Very nice for Dry January!
Made this tonight for our Dry January Mocktails. Super easy, super yummy and not too sweet. Instead of making the simple syrup in a pot I boiled water in the electric kettle and added it to the sugar in a 6 cup Pyrex and stirred until the sugar dissolved, then added the other bits.
You do know that the fools who stormed the Capital weren’t armed. Right?
Should I admit that I make something more convenience oriented but possibly similar – using minute maid frozen lemonade and limeade. Dilute the frozen mix with the appropriate amount of seltzer, adding the juice of a lemon and a lime, and adding mint or basil leaves. Serve over ice. It’s always a hit. “Make that fizzy lemonade,” is the request —
Makes a wicked Arnold Palmer as well. Lovely all around!
Made this today (added a shot of vodka) and it is simply PERFECT. I was testing it out for a cookout next weekend and I will definitely be making it again to share with others. This batch is staying with me!