We’ve been thinking up uses for our herbs we’re growing… one of which is lime mint. Lime? Mint? Mojito… yes, please. I don’t care that mojitos were “cool” a couple years ago. I’m more interested that they taste amazing… they’re very refreshing… they remind me of that awesome Cuban restaurant on the harbor in Baltimore… and it’s a use for the mint we’re growing.
Since we just planted the herb plants earlier this weekend, we did have to buy a pack of mint from the grocery store today… I didn’t want to rip every leaf off our little mint plant just for a few drinks. Can’t wait for the mint to grow and fill in… mojitos for everyone! Apart from the mint, you’ll also need some lime juice (I cheated and bought the ReaLime bottled lime juice), a bottle of tonic water or San Pelligrino, and some raw sugar.
The first mojito I had was at Little Havana Restaurante y Cantina in Baltimore… sitting out on their patio, right on the edge of the harbor… great food. Great friends. It was awesome. But, they used granulated sugar in the drink, and it didn’t all dissolve, and the drink was a little grainy and gritty. I didn’t like that. So… I got to thinking… why not just use a simple syrup. That way, the sugar is all dissolved and the drink’s texture will be homogeneous.
So, the first thing you’ll need to do is make a simple syrup… I infused mine with some mint leaves.
Mint Simple Syrup
2 cups raw sugar
2 cups tap water
1 handful mint leaves
Roughly chop the mint leaves and add to the water in a 4 qt pot. Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Strain. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Making the mojito
Once you have the simple syrup done, the rest is pretty easy. I like my mojitos in a pint glass… because I like to show off my pint collection, and because it’s more drink… so, take a pint glass, drop in three mint leaves and add a pinch of raw sugar. Muddle this in the bottom of the glass… use a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon… mash, stir, and smush the leaves into the sugar to get the mint oils and flavor out of the leaves. Don’t muddle the leaves up too much, or you’ll be sucking down bits of mint… not enjoyable to have to fish the little green bits out of your teeth.
Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add one shot glasses of the mint simple syrup, one shot of white rum, and one shot glass of lime juice. Pount into a drink shaker, shake a few times, them pour back into the pint glass.
Top off the glass with tonic water or San Pelligrino, and serve with a lime wedge (forget the mint sprig garnish… save the mint for another drink, not the decoration).
If you’re having a few folks over for a grill out or party or something and you want to mix up a pitcher ahead of time, just mix two cups of the mint simple syrup, two cups of white rum, and one cup of lime juice into a pitcher. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Muddle the mint leaves with sugar in each glass, fill with ice, stir up the pitcher of mix, pour a little less than halfway up the glass, and top off with tonic water or San Pelligrino.
What could be better on a hot ass Missouri day than a refreshingly cool minty drink. Perfection.