The summer after I graduated from college, my best friend came to stay with me for a couple weeks. Because we are wonderful, we basically turned the visit into a non-stop parade of delicious food and drinks. Oh, and we watched most of The OC. It was awesome (until the third season of the show). That's when we invented these stuffed shells.
During Laura's stay we had a couple of other visitors, including our friend Randall, who used his magical powers and talent for doing things properly to deposit two handles of Bacardi white rum on my liquor shelf. Needless to say, we invited lots of people over and drank mojitos for a solid week (and the second half of one of the bottles lasted me another year, until it randomly disappeared during a party). During that week we essentially bought three grocery stores out of mint, constantly sending boys with cars out to fetch it for us. Here, at last, is my infallible recipe. It's for a pitcher of cocktails, but you can use the same proportions to make single drinks.
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
6 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
2/3 cup simple syrup
1 1/2 cups rum
3 1/2 cups seltzer water
Muddle the mint in the bottom of the pitcher. Pour on the lime juice and simple syrup, and let it sit for a couple of minutes while it infuses. Add about twelve ice cubes, the rum and the seltzer. Stir it up and serve over more ice with a sprig of mint for garnish. You can strain out the mint leaves if you like, but they're pretty tasty. Adding strawberries or other fruit (you can even use frozen fruit among the ice cubes) is always an awesome idea.
This is basically the perfect refreshing summer drink, but it was quite nice after last night's spring dinner party as well. I'd meant to serve them with the bean burgers but we ended up having wine and champagne instead. I'd already put the mint, syrup, and lime juice together, though, so I obviously had to fill up the pitcher or else a lot of lime-squeezing (I bought a new, better juicer, though!) was going to waste.