Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Robin on the Rocks

This past Sunday was a day made for outdoor drinking. The highs were in the very low 70's, the sun was shining, and a new recipe for Vodka Mojitos and Patriarchy Ponds were calling my name.

Patriarchy Ponds is a beautiful park, near my apartment, and is the location the book Master and Margarita was set.

Lately, when I walk my dogs to the park (often weeknights, around 9pm because with these 10pm sunsets, I have no concept of bedtime or anything of that sort) I have noticed large congregations of young russians, treating the park like an outdoor patio bar. They sit on benches, drinking champagne out of plastic cups, beer out of very large bottles, chips out of bags with pictures of fish on them, while the women wear their shorts and nude pantyhose (a phenomenon I have yet to grasp). They chat, they eat, the drink, the make out and sometimes straddle each other. The day of the week or the time of the night matters not at all for the park crowd, as long as the sun is shining.

I mixed up a pitcher of this:

Vodka Mojitos - adapted from Giada on Food Network and her freakish quantity of teeth. Chomp chomp.
  • 1 1/2 cups mint simple syrup, recipe follows
  • 1 cup vodka, chilled-ish, because my freezer is too cold and my fridge tries to ruin my life by melting everything
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 large limes, or whatever you can find, because it's not like we have lime trees in Russia, ya know?)
  • 1 cup club soda, chilled-- who can find club soda here? Not this vodka drinker, so I used sparkling water. Same-ish.
  • Ice - I have 1 ice tray for my freezer, so that is about how much I used, but would have liked 15 times that.
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish- I didn't bother with this, because who cares about a garnish when it is in a pitcher and you are on a park bench?
  • (this part wasn't in the recipe but I added it) Some macerated strawberries (strawberries soaked in sugar and water over night)


In a pitcher, combine the simple syrup, vodka (extra for sipping), lime juice, and club soda  sparkling water. Pour into ice-filled  sparse glasses empty 1.5 liter water bottle (because I am fancy) and garnish with mint sprigs. Once again, we have no ice, and who needs garnish, unless we are talking about what I count as my daily serving of vegetables that comes atop my Bloody Mary? I then squished up the strawberries with my hands and added those.

Mint Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packed cup fresh mint leaves
In a small saucepan, over medium heat (or really whatever heat my soviet-ish p.o.s. stoves decides to output on that particular burner, on this particular day), combine the sugar, water, and mint leaves (I chopped mine up for maximum minty-ness). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer wait impatiently, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally  constantly hoping it will make it melt faster because dammit, you're already 20 minutes late and losing daylight, until the sugar has dissolved  you are too bored/impatient to wait any longer, this is a cocktail not rocket science we don't need to be too detail-oriented here, ya know? Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool for 20 minutes  by sticking the whole pot in your too-cold freezer and jumping up and down annoying your neighbors while you are doing the happy-snoopy dance in anticipation. Strain before using (so glad I finally broke down and bought a mesh strainer), pressing on the mint leaves to extract as much syrup as possible.

The next part of the recipe that I would add, if I were the one writing the recipe, would say to take your mojito-filled giant water bottle, two plastic cups (we don't share, and the plastic cups are now adding to our fancy-ness), and straws to a park bench and enjoy, allowing plenty of time for drunkenly wandering around the city laughing.


  1. I'm pretty sure the addition of fancy strawberries negates any ghetto-ness brought by the 1.5-liter bottle and lack of garnish.

  2. eh maybe, I'm such a fancy drinker. haha