To make mojitos at home at a moment’s notice (because why not), I’ve been growing Kentucky Colonel, a spearmint variety, since spring. With medium sun, daily watering, and trimming its flowers, it’s grown from a seedling to a full-grown shrub. (Lest I get too proud, take a gander at the sad, underachieving lime bush to its left, above).
While bartenders dread making mojitos because of the muddling required, I’ve been using a gratifying shortcut to reduce the labor when serving a crowd: creating a mint-infused syrup. I developed the below recipe after many tweaks to others found online; I think this one does the trick.
This recipe serves one, but since you’ll be whipping up a batch of mint syrup, this is great for a crowd. Just adjust the recipe up. Also, limes should be room temperature; roll them under your palm a few times on the counter to get them to yield their max amount of juice.
– 1 1/2 oz. white rum
– juice of 1 lime
– 1 oz. mint simple syrup
– 3 oz . seltzer
– mint sprig for garnish
Fill a glass with crushed ice. Add rum, lime juice and mint syrup; stir. Top with seltzer and add mint spring and/or lime wedge to garnish. Sip, repeat.
Mint Simple Syrup
I suggest making the mint syrup ahead of time to allow it to cool. You can also use any leftover syrup to kick up your iced tea or lemonade.
– 1 c. water
– 1 c. sugar
– 1 bunch of mint (stems included)
Combine sugar, water and mint in a saucepan. Heat and bring to a boil; simmer for one minute. Turn off heat and remove pan from burner. Let steep 30 minutes. When cool, strain into jar and discard wilted mint parts. You can even squeeze the mint stems out if you’d like to get all of that minty goodness out of them.
A nice variation: add fresh peeled ginger root to the syrup as it’s simmering for a Ginger Mojito. Or of course add more seltzer to lighten up your cocktail. Or of course more rum to…taste.