Ciudad, one of the Too Hot Tamales' restaurants, the other night.
It is in downtown Los Angeles and was filled with beautiful hip people out having a beautiful hip time. But, surprisingly, they still let us in.
The food was good and the decor was very modern and fun with geometric shapes printed on the dishes and walls in warm colors like orange, yellow and brown.
My favorite part though, was the Minty Lime Cooler I ordered to drink. You know how much I like wine, but I was driving the 45 miles home and needed to have my wits about me.
I found the recipe online, but it didn't exactly make what I had at the restaurant.
The drink from the recipe is bright green with tons of delightful teeth-coloring mint flecks. The drink at the restaurant was clear, with just a couple tiny flecks of mint leaf.
I got busy at home today, trying to re-create the tasty drink without the annoying mint pieces. I figured they must have used a mint syrup, so I made a simple syrup with 2 cups sugar, 1 cup of water, and a big bunch of mint leaves. I just boiled it all together for about 10 minutes, then strained.
Well. The finished syrup is tan, not green or clear, and while it has a strong mint flavor, it is more of a cooked mint, not a fresh mint taste.
I put a couple teaspoons of the finished syrup in a glass with the juice of a lime and some sparkling water and ice.
It wasn't what I had at Ciudad, but it wasn't bad.
I am thinking next time I might cook the syrup, cool it a bit, then steep the mint leaves.
Any other suggestions?