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Herbaltini

Monica Buck
Prep time 20 mins
Yield Makes: 1 1/2 quarts; 8 to 12 servings
Carry Porter of Kirkland, WA wasn't willing to miss out on a moment of the party by making cocktails one by one, so she created her "herbaltini" in a pitcher. This refreshing drink "combines the fresh herbs that many people have left over after cooking holiday dishes," she explains.

Ingredients

  • 24 fresh mint sprigs (4 in. each), rinsed
  • 12 fresh rosemary sprigs (3 in. each), rinsed
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 oranges (6 oz. each), chilled, rinsed, and quartered
  • 2 1/4 cups gin, chilled in the freezer
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 7 limes), chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups soda water, chilled
  • Fresh mint leaves, rinsed

Nutrition Information

  • calories 159
  • caloriesfromfat 1 %
  • protein 0.2 g
  • fat 0.1 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 16 g
  • fiber 0.1 g
  • sodium 11 mg
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a 2 1/2- to 3-quart pitcher, combine mint sprigs, rosemary sprigs, and sugar. With a long-handled wooden spoon, muddle (or crush) the herbs and sugar together. Squeeze juice from oranges into pitcher, then drop quarters in. Press a few times with spoon to release oil from orange peels. Stir in gin, lime juice, and 1/2 cup ice water. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Serve (see step 2), or cover and chill up to 4 hours (see notes). If using martini glasses, chill in freezer.

  2. To serve, slowly pour chilled soda water into the pitcher, down the side. Stir gently to blend. Pour through a strainer into chilled martini glasses or ice-filled glasses. Float a mint leaf on top of each. Serve at once.

Cook's Notes

Crushed mint turns dark after about 20 minutes. If you'd like to make this drink up to 4 hours ahead, strain the mixture just before your guests arrive, return it to the pitcher, then add a handful of fresh mint leaves.