Green tea "Fauxito": A healthier take on the classic mojito (recipe)

There are an infinite number flavored liquors on the market nowadays to suit every palate: from your run-of-the-mill berry and vanilla flavors to the more exotic, like acai and pomegranate, and even ones that are disguised as non-alcoholic beverages many of us consume regularly, like coffee and tea. But why mask the taste of the liquor with (usually fake) flavorings? Why not use flavor infusions from the actual source?

For instance, there are a number of green tea flavored vodkas out there, but by brewing real green tea and using it as your mixer, you'll get a more authentic essence of green tea while also reaping the health benefits. According to WebMD, green tea has important antioxidants and compounds that can aid in good health.

"Green tea's antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. ...Green tea and its extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL 'bad' cholesterol — two risk factors for heart disease and diabetes."

Basically, using freshly brewed green tea in a cocktail is a win-win situation: You're consuming healthy antioxidants while getting a nice buzz.

For a light and refreshing cocktail with all the added benefits of the green tea, try this take on a Cuban mojito, which uses vodka instead of rum, but keeps the muddled fresh mint and citrus components. I used agave nectar instead of sugar in this recipe to keep with the more wholesome take on the cocktail (which I realize sounds like an oxymoron), as agave nectar is a healthier substitute for processed sugar and has a low glycemic index. But, yes, it's another bastardization of the mojito, which is why I'm calling it a "fauxito" (fo-HEE-toe) as to not upset fans of the classic cocktail.