Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with mint sprig.
It’s been a busy week in national politics. Wednesday’s appointment by the Justice Department of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel has brought the word impeachment to the lips of many in the resistance.
This week’s cocktail is an appreciation of the progress the appointment signifies and a consideration of its possible implications. Beyond the pun of mixing peach moonshine with a mint simple syrup, the presence of the exquisite Don Ciccio i Figli Amaro della Sirene gives it a bitter undercurrent that tempers the sweet. Even if Donald Trump is removed from office, and even, dare I say, Pence is taken down with him, where do we find ourselves as a country?
Large swaths of the nation will refuse to accept the integrity of the investigation and will feel as though the man they’ve pinned all of their hopes on has been unjustly deposed. How do we mend that rift when many families have internal disagreements so strong they either silently agree to disagree or can no longer gather because conflict is guaranteed? If I had the answer, I’d be directing my efforts at something more substantial than a cocktail blog, but the complexities would certainly temper the sweet taste of impeachment.
As mentioned in previous posts, a fringe benefit of having a cocktail blog is that people gift me liquor. Such was the case last month when a friend handed me a mason jar of peach moonshine made by another friend (I didn’t ask questions.), saying it was remarkably smooth – not hooch that burns as it trickles down to your stomach. I agree wholeheartedly and have been waiting for the opportunity to use it. Using moonshine in this cocktail feels particularly appropriate since Sessions’ recent return to maximum sentencing for drug offenses might necessitate a reminder that the imposed morality of Prohibition was an abject failure.
Finally, I’ve chosen to use a cold-infused mint syrup rather than muddling mint in the glass because I prefer flavor to roughage in my cocktails, and cold-infusing the mint maintains a fresh mint flavor without tasting like chewing gum. To make it, I fill a jar with half a cup each of sugar and cold water and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add 3/4 cup fresh mint and infuse overnight. The next morning, I muddle the mint in the jar before straining the syrup, which will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Whether sharing a drink or two with your family makes the conversation easier or more perilous, at some point we’re going to have to try to understand each other. I raise my glass in the hopes that love, justice and decency win the day.
*Try Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine with Peaches if you don’t have the hook-up.
Cold-infused mint simple syrup
3/4 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup sugar
Fill a jar with half a cup each of sugar and cold water and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add 3/4 cup fresh mint and infuse overnight. The next morning, muddle the mint in the jar before straining the syrup. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.