This time of year a few things are true: it’s hot, too hot to cook certainly; if you have a garden and made the mistake of planting mint, it has gone absolutely berserk; and sometimes everyone in town is driving like a clown, the grocery store doesn’t have half the stuff you need (no unpackaged head lettuce? Really?), everything takes twice as long as it should, the world is falling apart around you, and you really just need a drink. These were the circumstances I found myself facing recently when I realized I could channel all these problems into one most excellent solution: a solution of rum, syrup, lime juice, mint and club soda, AKA a mojito.
Mojitos are one of the world's great summer beverages. It’s got everything a sweltering person may want when they’re perspiring off their sunscreen at a breakneck pace. It’s got cooling mint, refreshing citrus and sparkling water, with a touch of sweetness and a little liquor to help you forget how hot it is. There are few drinks around that are more perfectly suited to the hot and humid days of high summer.
It all started when I went out into my garden to harvest some mint and found it looked like this.
Mint gone berserk
I harvested a handful, but wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with it, but by the time I got back from my hot, aggravating errands inspiration had struck. I knew just what use I would put my mint to, and I started collecting everything I would need for my cocktail.
My mojito ingredients: Plantation rum, a fresh lime, simple syrup, club soda, and a handful of mint
If you’re following along at home, you’ll need:
2 oz white rum
1 oz club soda
1 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz lime juice
Small handful mint leaves
Springs of mint (for garnish)
1. Muddle together the mint leaves with the simple syrup.
2. Add the rum, lime juice, some ice, and shake vigorously in a shaker for at least 10 seconds.
3. Strain into a chilled glass filled with ice, then stick in your mint sprig(s), and top it off with the club soda.
I hope this refreshing cocktail helps get you through these last few days of hot hot heat. If you need just a little more liquid air conditioning, why not check out our upcoming hands-on class featuring my other favorite variety of summer drink: bittersweet cocktails. Join us at Lincoln Square this Friday, September 2 at 6pm to learn how liqueurs from Northern Italy can help create the most balanced cocktails you've ever made. Cheers!