Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

We've all had our moments with food. You know, the kind of moment where you connect with whatever you're eating or drinking in a way that is so incredibly pleasing and emotional. In my experience, these are the times when I can't stop making obnoxious, "MMMM!!" sounds, my taste buds are shocked because they have just been run over by the flavor bus, and my serotonin levels are crashing through the roof. Typically, such intimate foodie moments occur when there is an intriguing mix of diverse and unexpected flavors and/or textures in whatever I am enjoying.

It's these foods that leave those special imprints on my heart. *Insert dramatic love song here*

With beverages, these passionate moments have been sparse in comparison to those from dishes and desserts. However, the following beverages have elicited such a rush of foodie intimacy in the last few years:

1. Chocolate Thai Iced Tea - Bittersweet Cafe, Berkeley, Ca
A friend took me here and raved about this drink. After trying my first sip, I felt like I had been missing out on life. This beverage takes a twist on a typical Thai tea with it's deep and rich chocolaty addition.
2. White Linen Cocktail - Shady Lady Saloon Bar, Sacramento, Ca
I love gin cocktails-- they are by far my favorite. This cocktail is pleasantly refreshing with a combination of fabulous gin, simple syrup, and cucumber. Shady Lady has the best cocktails and I have tried several, but the White Linen always takes the cake.
3. Bowl of Soul - Naked Lounge, Sacramento, Ca
This beverage is a steaming cup of chamomile tea brewed with foamy soy milk, a little honey, and a bit of shaved dark chocolate. The flavor combinations are sensational and remind me of the comforts of sleeping in on a relaxing Saturday morning.
4. Mint Mojito Coffee - Philz Coffee, San Jose, Ca
Silicon Valley and Bay Area residents-- I don't need to remind you of how good Philz is. My brother took me for my first cup of this Mint Mojito a few years back and now I crave it all the time. Minty, creamy, and full of bold roasted coffee. It is theeeee best.
5. Frank Sinatra (Blueberry Mocha) - Cantata Coffee Co., San Francisco, Ca
I stumbled upon this place by accident with my good friend while in the city. I was curious about the combination of blueberry, chocolate, and coffee. However, if Philz taught me anything, it's to go for the unexpected flavors in coffee drinks. I am so glad I went for this Frank Sinatra! It tasted like chocolate covered blueberries in my coffee...yum! This actually inspired my Blueberry Mocha Brownies recipe.

Mmm...the thought of all of these leaves me feeling parched and a little over-caffeinated. I just love my coffee...and gin, I suppose!

Instead of dreaming about one of my favorite coffee drinks, I decided to try to recreate it at home. Yep, I brought #4: Philz Mint Mojito Coffee into my kitchen.
I can't say it's the same, but it is most definitely delicious and temporarily settles the Philz void I have going on. Best of all, it is super easy to make for a good-morning-start (or anytime of day).
Mint Mojito Iced Coffee
Inspired by Philz Coffee
serves 1 (but you can easily multiply the amount of each ingredient if you are trying to make a larger batch of servings)

about 1/4 cup of loose mint leaves
8 oz. (1 cup) brewed dark roasted coffee (or espresso)
2 oz. (1/4 cup) creamer (I used French vanilla fat-free half-n-half)

*Note: Creamer with flavorings tend to be a bit sweet for my liking. Next time I would probably use regular half-n-half and add some vanilla extract for flavor. You could easily do this and control the amount of sweetness by adding however much sugar you want. 

1. Leave a sprig of mint leaves aside for the garnish. Take the rest and muddle them into the bottom of a glass (we don't make cocktails a lot in our house so I used my small fondant rolling pin-- makeshift bar tender tools is my forte).

2. Pour in the coffee and creamer. Stir well and then fill the cup with ice. Stir again. Garnish with the reserved mint and enjoy!


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