Not too long ago, I posted a tutorial on making your own wooden beverage tags a la Ballard Designs (read about that HERE). The tag I chose to use while shooting the “after” photo was one of my favorites: mojitos! Since my husband has created the absolute best mojito recipe I’ve ever tasted, I figured I’d post it for you today. It’s the perfect summer drink for entertaining, whether it’s grilling and playing cornhole in the backyard, spending a day on the boat or at the beach, or serving evening cocktails on the screened porch.
Mojitos are a bit labor-intensive compared to other drinks, because you have to start with fresh mint and real limes for the best results, so I’ve found, sadly, that when I order them in a restaurant or at a bar, I’m never quite sure of what I’m going to get. My husband has started to question waitstaff and bartenders closely before he’ll commit to ordering one out! But I can tell you that this recipe is a never-fail one. Why not mix up a batch this weekend?
The below recipe is for a single glass (although why would you ever make just one?!) and after that I’ll give you the recipe for a pitcher.
Chris’s Mojitos by the Glass
1/2 lime, quartered 5-6 fresh mint leaves
Crushed ice 2 oz white/light rum
1 oz simple syrup 2 drops bitters
3 oz club soda
1. Begin by making the simple syrup: combine 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar in a saucepan, bring to a low boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator. One batch will make up to 12 mojitos. Side note: for all of you Yankees reading, this is how Southerners make sweet tea–with simple syrup! If you pour granulated sugar into iced tea, it just sinks to the bottom. Simple syrup blends in perfectly. Whenever I served iced tea, I place a small pitcher of simple syrup next to the tea so people can sweeten it to their own taste. You can also infuse simple syrup with lemon peel, and my husband infuses it with mint leaves for his mint julep recipe, but that’s a post for another day!!
2. Muddle the lime and mint in the bottom of a tall glass. That means smoosh them together for awhile to release the juice from the lime and the oil from the mint leaves. My hubby does this in the bottom of his Boston shaker, which he swears is the only way to shake a cocktail. A muddler is a wood or metal pestle that’s long and thin enough to get into the bottom of a glass. Before we bought one, we used the end of a wooden spoon, and obviously since it was so narrow, it was a tougher job. Here’s a close-up of our muddler:
The fresh mint and fresh limes are essential. If you’re not going to do that, just buy a premade mix! I’ve started growing mint in a huge pot out back every summer; it’s hardy and usually comes back every spring.
3. Add rum, simple syrup, and bitters (you can buy a bottle of bitters at the liquor store; it’s right there with the other mixers. We use Angostura bitters from Trinidad & Tobago. I wouldn’t skip the bitters, either, as they really bring out the flavor). Fill the glass to the top with crushed ice and top with club soda.
4. Shake for a 5-6 seconds to mix thoroughly. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig. Enjoy!
Chris’s Mojitos by the Pitcher
3 limes, quartered 36 mint leaves
12 oz rum 6 oz simple syrup
12 drops bitters about 18 oz club soda
These ingredient amounts make a six-serving pitcher, so we’ll often double or even triple it for large gatherings. We stir the club soda in rather than shaking each serving separately, but be sure to mix it well!
The only pre-made mojito mix that I will drink is made by Stirrings, but I will still add fresh mint and limes if I have them.
Yum–thank you, Cuba, for inventing the mojito! Enjoy your mojitos, and thanks for stopping by!