A refreshing drink that’s as delicious as it is pretty!
The Mojito, a traditional Cuban highball, offer a nice blend of sweet and tart flavours. Unlike daiquiris, which are often heavier and sometimes-cloying, the mojito is lighter and more refreshing, making it the perfect summer sipper. While most traditional mojito recipes which call for the mint to be muddled (crushed) in the glass, I’ve made things a lot simpler by including mint with the strawberries in the simple syrup that gives this drink its exquisite flavour. I like to make a big batch of syrup in June when berries are in season; I freeze it in ice cube trays and have months’ worth of cocktail fixings at the ready. If you are a fan of strawberry cocktails (and craving that daiquiri I mentioned), you might want to check out my grilled strawberry daiquiri recipe.
Strawberry-mint simple syrup:
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) fresh or frozen sliced strawberries
- handful fresh mint leaves, torn in half
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water
- 6 ice cubes
- 1.5 ounces (45 mL) amber rum (omit for a mocktail version)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) strawberry-mint syrup
- soda water
- whole mint leaves and fresh strawberries, for garnish
- Make the simple syrup by combining in a medium saucepan the strawberries, torn mint leaves, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, using a potato masher or the back of a fork to crush the berries as they soften in the heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes or until berries are completely mushy. Strain through a fine meshed sieve, pressing on berries to extract juice.
- Discard fruit pulp and pour syrup into a small jar with a tight lid; refrigerate syrup to cool completely.
- The syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to one week and frozen for months.
- To make one mojito, put the ice in a tall (highball) glass. Pour the rum, lime juice and strawberry-mint syrup over top, then fill to within 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of the top of the glass with soda water. Stir gently to bring the juices up from the bottom of the glass.
- Garnish with mint leaves and strawberries.
Simple syrup recipe makes enough for 8 cocktails but can easily be made in larger quantities.