You know that saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well what I say is,
“When life gives you mint, make Mojitos!”
I have tons of mint in my back flowerbed.
I planted it once.
Four years ago.
If you take anything away from my blog, please…never ever ever ever ever! plant mint in your flowerbed.
Consider this my public service announcement
Anyway, even though it’s not officially Summer (although it’s felt like Summer the past week or so), my Summer cocktail of choice is a Mojito. They are so light and refreshing – the perfect accompaniment to a lazy day by the pool or on the boat. I’ve been making them for several years now and am proud to say that I make a pretty mean Mojito.
Now there are many ways to make a Mojito, but these three main components are non-negotiables – mint, lime, and rum.
I’m going to give you two options for making Mojitos. The first recipe is for what I like to call my overachiever version. Here is all you need:
- Light Rum
- Mint sprigs
- 4-6 Limes
- 1 cup Sugar
- Club Soda
Let’s start with the mint because that is what gives the Mojito it’s unique flavor. This particular variety is a citrus mint that I planted especially for making Mojitos (ahem), but any garden variety mint will do. So first, strip the leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs of mint and cut the stems into 4 inch pieces or so.
Next, using a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, remove the peel only from two limes (try to avoid getting the white pith).
In a small saucepan, throw in the lime peel and mint springs. Add one cup of sugar and one cup of water and place over low heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved…maybe 5 minutes or so. Then let the sugar mixture cool completely. Basically we’re just making a simple syrup infused with lime and mint flavors. It gives the Mojito extra mojo – A Mojojito as my friend, N, likes to say.
In the meantime, squeeze 3 or 4 limes until you have about 3/4 cup of lime juice.
So if you’re lucky enough to have one of your very best friends coming over for an afternoon of relaxing by the pool, you’ll want to make a pitcher of Mojitos.
First add a cup or so of ice to the pitcher of your choice. Throw in exactly 24 mint leaves and one lime cut into exactly 8 wedges. Now the next part of this recipe is incredible technical and I don’t want you to freak out. We have to muddle the ice, lime, and mint. And you’ll need a very specialized tool for muddling – I recommend either the end of a wooden spoon, the end of a wooden meat tenderizer (my personal fave), or you can use the wrong side of an ice cream scoop.
What? You say you don’t know how to muddle? It’s OK. Here’s all you do – stick your muddler in the pitcher and jab it about 28 times until the limes start giving off juice and mint leaves are bashed up a bit.
Now add the following and stir:
- 3/4 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3/4 cup of infused simple syrup
- 1 cup of light rum
- 2 cups of club soda
Get yourself a glass full of ice and what I like to do is add just one more little squeeze of lime and a garnish of mint. Absolutely, positively do not forget to garnish your delightful cocktail!
Ahhh…look how pretty
Even prettier – Mojitos for two!!
Now I promised that I would to tell you how to make Mojitos another way. Because let’s face it…sometimes it’s been one of those days. Sometimes it’s gotta be 5 o’clock somewhere. And sometimes Momma needs a drink!
So here’s how to make a ‘Momma Needs a Drink’ Mojito for one.
Fill a glass about half full with ice. Add two or three lime wedges and about four mint leaves and muddle with your implement of choice. Fill with ice and add the following:
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2-3 Tbsp light rum (depending on the day)
- 4 oz 7 UP
Mix well, garnish, and breath a deep sigh of relief.
So whether you’re making Mojitos for one or many, I hope you enjoy this refreshing summer cocktail. It’s a perfect way to cool off after weeding the mint out of your garden.