Last August, I discovered mint juleps and wow – did that change my world. Cold, refreshing, and packed with lively mint flavor, mint juleps aren’t just for horse races. So what makes a good one? In my mind, the key to an out-of-this-world mint julep is to infuse the simple syrup with mint. It gives the drink an extra boost in flavor that makes it taste like summer.
I kept this mint trick in mind when a client asked me for a recipe for strawberry mojitos. I had never had a strawberry mojito before and I have to admit I was a little skeptical. When I find something I like I tend not to mess with it and I love the classic mojito. But, with that being said, I figured there was no harm in branching out and decided to test some recipes (oh, poor me!).
I’m glad I did. The drink I came up with is refreshing with lots of great mint flavor and just a hint of strawberry. It would be satisfying at the beach, low-key enough for a late weekend brunch, delicious at a bridal shower, fun for a dinner party, and, well, you get the point. If the weather is hot, you’ll want this little concoction in your hand.
As for making it, the mint-infused simple syrup is a must. Go ahead and make a big batch. You’ll want to have a second round and the syrup can work double time as an ingredient for mint juleps. As for the strawberries, get them ripe. The ones I purchased for testing the recipe at home were so fantastically ripe that they were almost rotten. They had that great strawberry smell and were deep red all the way through. When I muddled them up with the mint leaves, they added great color and a sweet, fruity taste.
The rest of the recipe is fairly straightforward, although I do recommend using large ice cubes instead of crushed ice. I tried it both ways and found that the large cubes worked better for picking out the bits of strawberry when you finish the drink. Just like with sangria – picking the boozy fruit out of the glass is irresistible. Cheers!
Strawberry Mojito – Printer Friendly Version of Recipe
Makes 1 drink
Adjust the ingredients as needed to suit your tastes. Now all you need is an excuse…
1 1/2 tablespoons mint-infused simple syrup (recipe follows)
3 large strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
5 fresh mint leaves, more for garnish
1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) white rum
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup club soda
In a small bowl or glass, muddle the simple syrup, strawberries, and fresh mint leaves until just fragrant. Add a handful of ice to an old-fashioned glass. Pour the strawberry mixture over the ice. Pour in the white rum and lime juice. Add the club soda. Gently stir the drink. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve immediately.
Mint-infused simple syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to the boil. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and pour syrup over mint leaves. Infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and discard mint and store syrup in the refrigerator.