Mojitos are the perfect drink. I always seem to default to them, sometimes even in mid winter. But this is the season when they really shine, when you can get hot and sweaty and parched enough to truly appreciate their cool, tingly, icy charm. I like mojitos because they are relatively light drinks; you can actually drink one at lunch and not fall face first into your salad. They take well to all kinds of fruits, too, which means they can be a blank canvas for some pretty creative mixology. Tastespotting has a stunning 9 pages of mojitos ranging from the classic, to recipes using pomegranate, persimmon, rhubarb, pretty much any fruit you can think of.
This is basically a classic mojito, with the addition of some fresh blackberry puree. You could theoretically muddle, or crush, the berries right in the cocktail shaker, but I made a quick berry puree so I could strain the seeds out. Depending on your berries and how much puree you use, you’ll get anything from a cranberry red, to lavender, or even deep purple color to your drink.
Most mojito recipes include simple syrup or sugar, but I think the blackberries add enough sweetness to the drink, and I prefer my mojitos on the dry side anyway. If you want some extra sweetness, add a little simple syrup or fine sugar.
For us in California, it’s Cinco de Mayo even more than Memorial Day that kicks off the summer season. It was a hot 94 degrees yesterday, my fresh mint started to wilt before I could finish shooting!
2 oz white rum
several fresh mint leaves
3 to 4 Tbsp blackberry puree
juice of 1/2 lime
4 oz club soda
- Muddle, or crush, the mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, the rum, blackberry puree, and lime juice. Shake and pour over fresh ice. Top with club soda. Use a sprig of mint and lime for garnish. Drop in a couple of fresh blackberries if you like.
to make blackberry puree:
take a handful of berries per drink, and puree them in a blender or small food processor. Add a little water to thin the puree and then strain out the seeds.
Have a happy and safe weekend!