I can clearly remember the first time I tasted a mojito. It was about 8 years ago at a dinner with some friends. My husband and I sat out on the patio, enjoying the view of the sunset, the crashing of the waves, and a great conversation with our friends Carlo and Nicole. Carlo ordered a mojito and I was curiously brave enough to try a sip. Thank goodness I was brave enough, because I have loved them ever since!! Unfortunately, that oceanfront restaurant is no longer there (boo to the condominiums!) but my love for mojitos can live on!
There are 8 thousand ways to make a mojito. If you Google it, you will find versions with sugar, simple syrup, agave nectar, club soda, no club soda, lime juice, lemon juice, and on and on…. Traditional or not, I personally do not like mojitos with sugar in them. I find them to be gritty, even if you use the superfine bar sugar. Making simple syrup is easier than easy and you can make a big batch to have on hand for that late night mojito craving!
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 large handfuls of fresh mint leaves
Lime juice (you should use fresh, but in a pinch, the bottled will do)
Light rum (Bacardi is my choice!)
1) Place 8-10 torn mint leaves and water in a microwave safe dish [I like something like a Pyrex measuring cup]. Heat in the microwave until boiling (2-3 minutes). Remove dish from the microwave and rapidly stir in the sugar until dissolved. Allow the syrup mix to cool completely before using.
2) To make a single drink: Place 8-10 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass and pour 1 shot glass measure (1.5 fl oz) of freshly squeeze lime juice over the mint leaves. Use a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to crush the mint leaves and lime juice together.
3) Add 2 shots (3 fl oz) of light rum and 1 shot glass measure (1.5 oz) of the cooled simple syrup, stirring to combine. If you’re feeling extra industrious, put it in your cocktail shaker and give it a shake!
4) Fill glass 3/4 of the way full with crushed ice and top the glass off with club soda. Squeeze a lime wedge on top and enjoy!! Minty freshness, perfect for a hot summer day!