I always like to plant a little mint in my garden because it’s easy to grow (gives me confidence with some of the trickier plants), smells great and is perfect for making mojitos. Mojitos are one of my favorite summertime drinks. They’re easy to make with just a few ingredients that can be put together by hand, and the combination of fresh mint and fresh lime juice is incredibly refreshing.
Mojitos are start by muddling – or mashing – mint leaves and sugar at the bottom of a cocktail glass to release their natural oils. Fresh lime juice and rum are added to the mixture, then the cocktail is topped off with club soda. Like other cocktails, it’s fun to dress up the classic every once in a while with a little twist. In this case, I put a raspberry twist on my mojito. I added fresh raspberries to the sugar and mint leaves at the bottom of the glass and muddled them all together before adding the liquids. This added a little extra sweet fruitiness (and a lot of color), without losing any of the refreshing elements of the classic.
Sometimes, I will use a bigger glass and increase the amount of club soda in the drink so that I have something I can sip for a long time on a hot afternoon (usually a better option than having multiple drinks!). If you want to make a nonalcoholic version of this drink, I would recommend using either lime-flavored sparkling water or a soda like sprite in place of the club soda. The lime sparkling water would be my first choice, since it’s not too sweet. Either option will add some extra flavor to the drink that you lose when you omit the rum.
8-10 fresh mint leaves
6-8 fresh raspberries
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice (juice of one lime)
2-oz light rum
club soda (approx 6-oz)
In a tall thin glass, muddle together mint leaves, raspberries and sugar until smooth and fragrant. Add lime juice and rum and stir well. Add plenty of ice, then top off the glass with club soda (or seltzer water). Add a few fresh berries and a sprig of fresh mint as garnish before serving.
Note: You can increase the amounts of mint, raspberries, lime, sugar and rum, muddle them in a cocktail shaker, then pour that mixture into glasses before topping the individual drinks with ice and club soda, to serve a crowd.