When I first came across the mo-tea-to, I told myself, “I must make it.” There seemed to be no better time than today.
After weeks of cool days and chilly nights, the days are getting warmer and they signal strongly of the impending summer. I must admit that I’ll miss the cool Amihan weather and I’ll probably pine non-stop until summer is over. But summer has its perks too. Some drinks just don’t taste right unless consumed when the sun is shining and a balmy breeze is blowing. The mo-tea-to is one of those drinks. Instead of cursing the heat, I just closed my eyes as I sipped and imagined I was on a beach listening to the waves as they splashed on the shore.
Based on a recipe from The Bar, my version of mo-tea-to has lemon instead of lime (alas, our lime tree has once more taken a break from bearing fruits). In lieu of steeping a bag of mint tea, I steeped loose-leaf jasmine tea with mint leaves to make the base of the drink. And to heighten the citrusy aroma, I added lemon zest to the sugar syrup. Wonderful drink. Even Speedy, our resident cocktail drinks mixer, says so.
- 1 tablespoon of loose leaf jasmine tea
- 12 peppermint leaves torn to release the essential oils
- ½ cup white sugar
- zest from one lemon
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 and ½ ounces rum
- juice of 2 lemons
- sprigs of peppermint leaves to garnish
Place the tea in a mug or bowl. Add the torn peppermint leaves. Pour in about a cup and a half of newly boiled water. Allow to steep for about four minutes. Strain and cool.
Make the sugar syrup. Boil together the sugar with half a cup of water and the lemon zest. When the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. Cool the syrup.
Pour the cooled tea in a teapot. Add the lemon juice, vodka, rum and about two ounces of the cooled syrup. Stir and taste. Add more lemon juice or syrup, or vodka and rum, until you come up with the most pleasing balance of flavors.
Place some ice cubes in tea cups then fill the cups with mo-tea-to. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.
For the original recipe, visit The Bar.