My kitchen seems to be bursting with strawberries (and tomatoes and zucchini…) this summer season, but I’m proud to say that I’m using them up almost as fast as I get them in. I’ve been baking strawberry pies, crisps and other goodies – and I’ve even been making some strawberry cocktails to enjoy while I’m waiting for my berry desserts to get done baking. These Strawberry Mojitos are easy to make, do a great job of featuring fresh strawberries and are always a hit, whether I’m making them for a crowd or just enjoying one myself.
The mojitos start with fresh strawberries and lime wedges. These two ingredients are muddled together with fresh mint leaves and a little bit of sugar. That pinch of sugar is important because the coarseness of the sugar allows you to pull some of the essential oils out of the lime rind, making your drink more flavorful than it would be if you used lime juice alone. It’s a little more work to build the drink this way, but it is well worth the extra effort. The fruit mixture is sweetened with simple syrup and a generous pour of white rum. I used Flor de Cana rum, but any good white rum will work well.
The cocktail needs to be assembled one drink at a time (i.e. you shouldn’t mash all your limes and strawberries together in a big bowl and try to batch it that way), but you can make an assembly line by preparing a line of glasses with all the ingredients that need to be muddled so you can do one after another when serving a crowd. If you wanted to make a non-alcoholic mojito, you could substitute the rum with additional soda water, turning into a drink for all ages. Rum or no-rum, it is light, summery, fruity and exceptionally refreshing. In fact, I think I’ll go make another right now!
2 large strawberries
1/2 lime, cut in 4-5 wedges
6-8 fresh mint leaves
2 tsp sugar
2 oz white rum
1/2 oz simple syrup*
1-2 oz club soda
Remove strawberry hulls and cut berries into quarters. In a highball glass, combine strawberries, lime edges, mint leaves and sugar. Muddle gently, but firmly, until the limes release their juice and strawberries are crushed. Add in rum and stir to combine. Fill with ice cubes, top with soda water and garnish with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.
*Simple syrup is made by dissolving together equal parts sugar and water. The mixture can be stored in the fridge for weeks in an airtight container and can be used to sweeten cocktails, coffee, teas and other beverages.