Experiment in Libations

I think I did this kind of backwards - I chose my signature drink without even trying it. But I figured, how bad could simple syrup, vanilla vodka, strawberries and mint be?

Well I experimented last night with my signature drink concoction and boy am I glad i tried this out. I went by the recipe, but added strawberry slices (1/2 a berry) to the mint and muddled both together. We're not big liquor drinkers in my family and my shaker, strainer, etc are in New Orleans. So I had to improvise: Ball jar as a shaker, ice tea spoon as a jigger and a VERY tiny holed colander as a strainer. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. So i followed the recipe, with my strawberry addition and my drink turned out a very very pale tan color. I took a sip and the result.

Mint cough syrup.

with a hint of vanilla.

it was NOT good to say the least. Images of guests gagging at my wedding with their complementary drinks popped into my head. Stories of "the wedding I went to where the bride obviously didn't like her guests - she tried to poison them with a bad martini" rang in my ears.

Something had to be done. After thinking about it and mulling it over in my head for a night, i realized the problem. The drink didn't taste like strawberry at all -- I might as well have not put any strawberries in at all. So tonight, when I made my drink, I upped it to 1 and 1/2 sliced strawberries added to the mint.

The result? You be the judge:

a pretty pink drink. And the taste? delightful! The mint is still the primary taste, but the vanilla and MORE strawberry help to balance the strength of the mint as well as add some depth to the taste. It is NOT a fruity drink: it 's a feminine "strong" drink.

I absolutely love it! But I also learned my lesson: always try a drink and/or recipe before you choose to serve it to other people. Otherwise you risk serving something resembling mint cough syrup.

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