A New Way To Enjoy Mint In Your Summer Drink

cocktail_column_7.24_slide_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
Where would summery cocktails be without the mint? The mojito, the julep, and pretty much every warm-weather drink recipe on Pinterest — they all call for the fresh herb because it lends a subtle, slightly vegetal brightness to any libation.
But, the Brancolada, from Jeremy Oertel at Brooklyn's Donna, changes up the minty-cocktail game. Instead of utilizing the fresh stuff, this riff on a piña colada employs the menthol amaro BrancaMenta for a crisp bite — a quality typically found in your minty wintertime beverages than a summertime sipper.
The thing is, it totally works. Mixing pineapple juice and a peppermint-tinged liqueur might sound kind of bizarre, but the tropical fruit and creamy coconut (remember that Coco Lopez?) actually round out the amaro's more herbal notes. The blend is cool, refreshing, and a touch funky with the addition of Appleton Estate Jamaican rum. Mix up this crushed-ice cocktail, and drink it at a low-key backyard barbecue — or sneak it into the park for a picnic.
Or, you can pick up a frozen version at Donna itself in South Williamsburg. Not only does this delicious iteration make the trip worthwhile, but the bar space is absolutely stunning.
Need any more reason to try this simple-yet-inventive concoction? Find the recipe below.

1 oz Appleton Estate V/X Jamaican rum
1 oz BrancaMenta
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz orange juice
3/4 oz coconut cream (3 parts Coco Lopez to 1 part coconut milk)
Mint sprig (for garnish)
Orange wedge (for garnish)

Shake ingredients together, and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and orange wedge.

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