Friday

The Magnificent Mint Mojito

Mojito and fresh mint photoI'm waxing a bit poetic, but if you like mint, rum and lime, this Cuban cocktail was made for you. It's refreshing on a hot day with just the hint of a citrus bite to keep it interesting. On Kentucky Derby day, this wonderful little drink makes a nice change from the traditional mint julep, especially if you aren't into bourbon.

A classic recipe follows. Mint and limes are essential for a good mojito, but the variety of mint makes a difference: My favorites are peppermint and chocolate mint as opposed to plain spearmint or the politically correct Cuban mint Mentha x villosa. I also like to add a sprig of lime balm (or lemon balm if that's all I have access to). This drink is a natural for anyone who grows herbs. You'll be popular around Kentucky Derby time, and probably all summer long.

A Classic Mojito with Mint and Lime Recipe

2 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tablespoons, lime juice (use fresh lime, please)
6 Mint leaves
2 oz. White rum
2 oz. Club soda
Crushed ice
Decorative sprig of ice or lime balm

Mojito Directions

Add the first three ingredients to a Collins glass (tall and narrow) and blend. Make sure to crush the leaves thoroughly. I use a wooden spoon, but most traditional recipes call for a muddle and suggest muddling the leaves in the bottom of the glass. (Muddling is "smashing together" to release the juices.)

Fill the glass with crushed ice, and then add rum and club soda.

Decorate with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

Mojito Tips and Substitutions

Some variations can enhance the overall effect of your mojitos. Add equal parts lime balm and mint, or even lemon time and mint. You can substitute granulated sugar for powdered sugar too. I've also used stevia syrup (1 tsp. at our house, but experiment with what works for you), which makes the drink a pretty green and lower in calories.

On a hot, humid day, a mojito can clear your palate or just give you an excuse to sit down and enjoy all that hard work you've been putting into the garden. Give one a try.

If you'd like to stick with a classic mint julep, this recipe's a sure bet: How to Make a Mint Julep

4 comments:

  1. Love this ... thanks and Happy May! (just posted May Wine!)

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  2. So that's a good use for chocolate mint! I've been wondering what to do with it.

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  3. One thing to add though, for an authentic Mint Julep you want Kentucky Colonel Mint. I love mint, and it's one of the few varities I make sure and grow every year! (Take it from a Kentucky girl, it's the best variety!)

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  4. Hey Jessica,

    Thanks for visiting. Colonel Mint is a spearmint variant with big, slightly crinkled leaves. It's neat and easy to grow. I know it's popular in the bluegrass state, but I really prefer peppermint.:)

    Sara

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