Mojitos make a great summer cocktail – refreshing citrus and mint hit the spot on a hot summer day. I always have a ton of mint growing in pots (it spreads like crazy), and this is a perfect way to use it up. The best version involves a little advance prep and there are no shortcuts for a delicious, authentic Mojito. It’s important to muddle the mint to release its full flavor, and I like to use mint infused simple syrup to further intensify the flavor. Many recipes call for lots of mint in the glass, but I find it makes it messy to drink, just a sprig for garnish is all that’s needed.
15 mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce Mint Simple Syrup (recipe below)
2 ½ ounces light rum
1 ounce chilled club soda
1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the lime juice and Mint Syrup. Add ice and the rum, shake well and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with the club soda and garnish with the mint sprig and a slice of lime.
Minted Simple Syrup
1 ½ cups packed fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1. In a saucepan bring sugar, water and mint to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer syrup, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve, pressing hard on solids, and cool. Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks.