Sometimes we spend so much time trying to make something new, different, and special that we forget about the tried and true basics. I’m always looking for the next cocktail with some sort of artisanal element like a special herb or exotic fruit when I’m ordering at a bar, but I’m the first person to appreciate something simple and effortless when it comes to making drinks at home. A vodka gimlet is about the easiest, most basic cocktail you can make and adding mint makes it taste that much fresher. This one is worth keeping limes and mint in the fridge on a rolling basis for spring and summer.
2 oz vodka
1/2 oz simple syrup
Put about 10 mint leaves at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the juice of 2 limes and simple syrup. Muddle but don’t be too hardcore about it. You want the mint flavor to blend with the other ingredients but you don’t want it to break into a million pieces (not fun for sipping). Add about 5 ice cubes (crushed is better for this drink, if you have it), and the vodka. Shake. There are two ways to serve it – in a lowball with all the ingredients, or strained into a martini glass. Depends on how glamorous you’re feeling.