I made a mistake last time we went to San Francisco. I did not go to Philz Coffee.
Why is this a BIG deal? They’re known for a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to add mint, right? Well, unlike some other chains, this isn’t just a shot of coffee, splash of milk, and some mint syrup. Nope, you’re getting fresh mint leaves in your cup. And where mint syrup tends to taste like chewing gum, fresh mint leaves taste like mother earth is cooling you with her own breath.
The Mint Mojito Iced Coffee was what kicked off our elopement trip, as we had to kill some time before getting our marriage license from San Francisco City Hall. So, it’s possible the sentimentality of it is also playing a factor. Either way, it’s a freaking refreshing drink that should be the start of every trip to San Francisco.
We tried making a Mojito Latte a few times when we returned home. I think we might have used either a Keurig or a simple french press and it was good, but not Philz good. As such, we kind of gave up on making it.
That last one is interesting, as it talks about a small, yet growing trend of using the same methods and ingredients for standard alcoholic cocktails, but substituting the alcohol for coffee. So simple, yet so brilliant.
This made me realize how I could make the Mojito Latte even better: Use the exact method for making a mojito, including lime juice and freshly muddled mint.
That didn’t quite work…
The lime juice kind of takes over and kills the coffee taste and also curdles the milk. I tried a few times to make the lime juice work with varying amounts and different types of milk (like coconut), but it still wasn’t very good. I really didn’t want to skip on the lime element, as then it’s not a Mojito. It would just be a Mint Latte. I didn’t want a Mint Latte. I wanted a Mojito Latte.
Fortunately, the drawer of our cooking utensils was partially open and the citrus zester was peeking out. DUH. Lime zest. A hint of lime, none of the curdling power.
Alas, it was perfect! Okay, maybe not Philz perfect, but pretty close. Actually, it has been a couple years so it’s possible that this one is better than Philz (doubtful). Good thing we’re headed back to San Francisco this summer, so I can give it the proper comparison.
Iced Mojito Latte
Makes one glass.
- 2-4 oz Strong Coffee or Espresso
- 2-4 oz Milk
- 6-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
- Zest from half a Lime
- 2 – 4 teaspoons Sugar or Simple Syrup
1. Prepare your coffee as you normally would; I prefer the Aerobie Aeropress, but you can use whatever you like. The important part is that it should be as close to “espresso-strong” as possible. The range in amount is so you can adjust based on strength. Let the coffee cool a bit while you prepare the rest of the drink.
2. Add the sugar to a cocktail shaker, next the lime zest, then add the mint. Gently muddle the mint leaves to release the flavor; don’t work too hard, as the mint shouldn’t be torn to shreds.
3. Pour in the coffee (it’s okay if it’s still a bit hot), about five ice cubes, and your milk. In that order.
4. Shake it like a Polaroid picture, then strain into a glass.
No, this isn’t necessarily something you’ll be making at 6:30 AM on a Tuesday, but it’s worth the effort when you have time. Especially if you need a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up after spending six hours ripping up monkey grass and planing bushes. True story.
Still thirsty? Drink up our Grapefruit Cinnamon Simple Syrup and Soda recipe.