Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mojito, anyone?

How do you survive a heat wave like the one we’re having? Stay cool, do as little as possible, and relax with a refreshing drink. Next to the margarita, my favorite summer drink is the mojito. It’s quick and easy to throw together. There are many variations on the theme (this one claims to be the “real” mojito), but here’s how I make mine:

1 sprig of mint (about 6 leaves)
1 tablespoon baker’s sugar (aka caster sugar)
Juice of two limes
2.5 oz rum
4-5 ice cubes
club soda

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Put the mint leaves in a highball glass and add the sugar. Use a muddler (the handle of a wooden spoon works well, too) to gently mash the mint leaves and sugar together; the idea is to release the essential oils in the mint, not to shred the mint to pieces. Add the lime juice, ice, and club soda. Stir briefly and decorate with more mint. This makes a fairly sour mojito, so add more sugar if you like.

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Reading this post, you’re probably wondering if I’ve had a mojito too many. After all, this is supposed to be a gardening blog, not a Happy Hour guide.

Actually, there is a method to my madness. The mojito inspiration came from a trip to Green Acres nursery in Sacramento yesterday. My mom is visiting, and I wanted to show here what is arguably the largest nursery in the Sacramento area. At Green Acres, I found a plant I’d only read about: a new elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) cultivar called—you guessed it!—’Mojito’. The leaves are absolutely stunning with their contrasting green and black flecks. The stems are mottled, too! Needless to say I ended up buying one.

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Colocasia esculenta ‘Mojito’
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I’ve never seen such beautiful leaves
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The intricate variations are amazing
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Can you tell how much I like the leaves?
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The stem is mottled, too

I ended up putting my ‘Mojito’ in a large clay pot and placed it next to my variegata aralia (Fatsia japonica 'Variegata') and 'Shiroshima' bamboo (Hibanobambusa tranquilans 'Shiroshima').

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Potted ‘Mojito’ in our backyard

2 comments:

  1. For some reason I thought you were already growing 'Mojito'... I picked up one of these earlier this year too. It was backordered so is behind all of the other ones I bought, but seems to be picking up steam. Can't wait to see the larger leaves!

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  2. Alan, I had seen it in the Plant Delights catalog but this was the first time I saw one in person--and had to have it. Yours should grow quickly in your climate.

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