Aqua Vitae - Vodka Mojito

This week we have the perfect way to quell that wicked faux summer weather - The Vodka Mojito!

Flavored vodka has been THE big thing on the liquor market over the past few years and there seems to be no end in sight. We imagine soon there will be pickle and foie gras flavors rolling off assembly lines. And while we love our spirits, it's a tad hard to get behind some of these, mainly because the flavoring is just masking bad vodka. It's a little like putting jolly ranchers in Zimas, you know, like you did in high school.

However, there are some amazing flavored vodkas out there and Hangar One Kaffir Lime Vodka ($34) from Craft Distillers pummels the competition.

Kaffir Limes are rare, rough-skinned citrus fruits native to central Indonesia. They've long been a staple of Thai cuisine because of their intense flavor and high aromatic oil content. Hangar One infuses Kaffir leaves with the fruit to increase the richness and complexity.

Due to a few devoted growers of Kaffir lime trees in California's Sacramento Central Valley who have planted Kaffir lime trees just for Hangar One, and a few trees right next to the distillery, Craft Distillers isn't running out of these bad boys anytime soon.

What better way to feature this great spirit than in the ultimate summer drink, the mojito. Traditionally this yummy cocktail is made with rum, but this lime flavored delight is the perfect substitution.

Before you get cracking on these treats, let us introduce you to a great tool kit. From the mix master himself, Tony Abou-Ganim comes TAG Mojito Kit ($49). This kit comes with a press to squeeze your limes, canvas bag to fill with ice and a solid cherrywood muddler to create crushed ice and muddle the mint.

Mojito Ingredients:
2 oz Hangar One Kaffir Lime vodka
1 lime, halved
6-8 mint leaves
1 oz simple syrup
Club soda

Squeeze limes into bottom of cocktail shaker; add spent shells. Add mint leaves, tearing as you drop them in. Add simple syrup. Muddle lime, simple syrup and mint. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a tall glass. Top with crushed ice. Add Vodka. Top with soda. Garnish with mint. Serve with straws. Easy!

Twist Recycled Glass Mojito Set ($60) are the most fitting vessels for your new favorite cocktail. Six tall glasses are crafted of hand-blown recycled glass that hold 14 fluid ounces. With a swirling glass design that features extra-thick shams and walls, your drink will stay colder longer, not that you have to worry about that!

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