Ralph Rosenberg got the inspiration for this drink while sitting on the veranda of what would become Indigo Landing restaurant, on Daingerfield Island near Reagan National Airport. He wanted to create "a great, spiked lemonade." This is the signature drink of the new restaurant, which features Southern low country cooking.
- For the Mint Syrup
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 bunches mint leaves
- For the Mint-Infused Lemonade
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups (from about 12 lemons) lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups mint syrup
- For the Hibiscus Tea
- 1 cup water
- 3 bags hibiscus tea (may substitute Celestial Seasonings brand teas that contain hibiscus, such as Moroccan Pomegranate Red, Red Zinger, or Bali Black Raspberry) or cranberry or pomegranate juice
- For each serving
- 1 1/2 ounces mango-flavored rum, such as Cruzan brand
- 6 ounces mint-infused lemonade
- 1/2 ounce hibiscus tea
- Lemon slices, for garnish
For the Mint Syrup: In a medium pan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, with bubbles barely breaking the surface, until the liquid has reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes. Add the mint and continue to cook for 10 minutes. The mixture should be slightly thicker than maple syrup; don't let it caramelize. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Transfer to a covered container and let sit for at least 4 hours or refrigerate overnight. Discard the mint; there should be about 2 1/2 cups of syrup.
For the Mint-Infused Lemonade: Combine the ingredients in a large pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Hibiscus Tea: In a medium pan or tea kettle over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool.
For each serving: Fill a tall Pilsener or Collins glass with ice. Mix the rum and Mint-Infused Lemonade and pour into the glass. Top with Hibiscus Tea. Garnish with a lemon slice and serve with a straw.
Adapted from Ralph Rosenberg, director of operations for Star Restaurant Group.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
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