Ah, Monday. It should be a new beginning, a fresh start, a day to get our week started on the right foot. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes just thinking about the responsibilities of week ahead overwhelms us and puts us in a foul mood. If that’s you today, well then, it’s time to turn things around. If you’re feeling like you’re muddling through this Monday, I invite you to do some muddling this evening, too. I’m talking about plucking some mint leaves from the garden and making mojitos to relax you and lift your spirits (no pun intended)! And if you are having a good day, a mojito is just the thing to keep it going strong.
We are big fans of rum at our house. We are also big fans of travel. So our trip to Puerto Rico a couple of years ago was a perfect match. While we were there, we sampled different kinds of rum and enjoyed muchos mojitos. Mint just happens to be a plentiful perennial herb in our garden, so we have been making mojitos at home each summer since then–a much cheaper alternative to paying several bucks for one at a bar or flying to Puerto Rico. When the strawberries or raspberries are in season, we toss some in for a fresh twist on a classic.
Detailed below is the way that our resident bartender (Bill) brings a taste of the islands to our humble backyard. Enjoy your Mojito Monday!
BASIC MINT MOJITO
Ingredients for one drink:
12 fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 lime, rinsed, and cut into 4 wedges
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 fluid oz white rum
- 1/4 cup club soda
1. Squeeze the juice of a lime wedge into a sturdy 16 ounce glass. Add the mint leaves. Muddle lime juice and mint to break up mint leaves.* Toss in the rind of the lime.
2. Add the sugar, and squeeze in the juice of two more lime wedges. Muddle again to help dissolve the sugar, and then put in the squeezed lime rinds.
3. Pour in the rum, and stir or muddle to further dissolve the sugar.
4. Fill glass with ice, and then add club soda. Give a final stir, taste it, and add more sugar, mint or rum to suit your preference. Pop in a straw and garnish with remaining lime wedge.
*NOTE: When making a drink, muddling means to squish the ingredients together to break them up. We got our muddling instrument last summer when Bacardi was attaching a free one to each bottle. Needless to say, we ended up with several. If you do not have something to use for muddling, you could improvise by smashing the ingredients with a detached beater of an electric mixer.
BERRY TASTY ADDITIONS
For a strawberry or raspberry mojito, use about 1/4 cup of berries–hull and halve strawberries. Muddle half of the berries at the beginning with the mint leaves, and the other half after adding the sugar.
Click BASIC MINT MOJITO for a printable PDF of this recipe.