My Favorite Summer Cocktail

Orange Mint Drink

This recipe goes all the way back to my mother's mother. It's time-consuming, but well worth it. The syrup lasts indefinitely in the fridge and it's a good way to use the mint you planted a few years ago and is now proliferating faster than selfies at an influencer gathering.

You can mix it with seltzer for the kids, with champagne or - my favorite - vodka for adults.


2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 enormous fistfuls of fresh mint leaves

Juice of 7 lemons (about 1 1/2 cups), plus zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 3 oranges (about 3/4 cup), plus zest of 1 orange


1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat.

2. Crush and rip mint leaves with your hands. Add to saucepan. Add lemon juice, orange juice, lemon zest, and orange zest to saucepan. Stir to combine. Let sit for, oh, 4 hours or so.

3. Pass mixture through fine strainer, discard solids. Mix to taste with vodka, champagne, or seltzer. And ice.

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