LEMON BASIL MOJITO
Spring time is finally here! Woohoo! And it will be summer before we know it. This time of year we always start thinking about some new cocktails to try while lounging poolside or just in the warm sunshine. If you are looking for something similar - this lemon basil mojito really hit the spot for us. Sour, sweet, flavorful and super refreshing!
If you’ve been following along with us over the last year you know that we are big fans of savory and less sweet drinks. For example: Dirty Martini, Bloody Mary Martini, Pepperoncini Martini, Espresso Martini, or just straight Bourbon 😂 So when we find a recipe we love we usually try to decrease the sweetness level a bit, if possible. This lemon basil mojito is no exception, however some simple syrup is still needed in order to balance the sour taste of the lemon juice.
WHAT IS A MOJITO?
We will give you the definition straight from Google and then expand a little...
"Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball. The cocktail often consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint. Its combination of sweetness, citrus, and herbaceous mint flavors is intended to complement the rum, and has made the mojito a popular summer drink."
Our favorite thing about mojitos is that you typically muddle together the ingredients mentioned above. Muddling the ingredients just means that you are mashing all of those delicious ingredients together, which releases the juices of the herbs, fruit, etc. this leaves you with some really amazing flavors added!
Let’s chat about the specific ingredients in this one:
We always prefer to use fresh squeezed citrus juice when possible, instead of bottled. The taste of fresh juice is hands down MUCH better. And if it’s convenience that’s holding you back, get yourself one of these handy little juicers. I think a few of the ladies on Jasmine use ours almost every day - such a kitchen staple. In addition, fresh lemon juice is packed with much more vitamin C than bottled juice. So why not get the added health benefits, even if it’s going into a cocktail!!
This is another example of an ingredient where you always want to use fresh over dried. In a mojito, all of these ingredients will be muddled together in a glass to really pull out the flavors of each item. Those flavors are sadly not in the dried spices. Typical mojito recipes use mint leaves, however we love the unique taste of introducing basil to this version. We are always up for trying a new flavor in our cocktails!
Don’t already have this ingredient stocked in your kitchen? No worries - you can pre-make this yourself in just a few minutes with only two simple ingredients: sugar and water. Simply add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until all sugar is melted into the water…and there you have it…simple syrup! We store this in an airtight container in our refrigerator and it will keep for about 2 weeks. As mentioned earlier, this is one of the sweeter ingredients, so we try to tone it down a little. Some like creating their syrup with a full cup of sugar. Feel free to adjust your measurements based on your own taste.
This is the only added alcohol included in this cocktail. Mojitos are typically made with white rum since it’s a little more mild and lighter than dark rum. Fun fact: white rum is made from either sugarcane or molasses which helps to give the unique flavor which helps to pack a punch for this drink! A quick warning that some rum brands add additional sugar to the liquor. We don’t love added sugar, so we usually do some research before purchasing in the liquor store! Bacardi seems to be a safe option!
SPARKLING MINERAL WATER
One of our Jasmine ladies has recently been using sparkling mineral water instead of club soda. We recently read about the difference: Sparkling mineral water is made with water from a mineral spring, where as club soda is carbonated water infused with added minerals, which give it a salty or lightly sweet flavor. We always try to go with the more natural options when possible! No matter what brand you choose, you can’t go wrong with adding some refreshing bubbles to your cocktail of choice!
If it were an option, we would only use crushed ice in our drinks. Where are the Sonic ice fans! We actually just heard that you can purchase full bags of ice from Sonic and we fully intend to give that a shot this summer!! However, due to convenience, you will mostly see us using full ice cubes in our drink creations. Both are great options, really depends on your preference
Our favorite part of making a drink: making it look beautiful! Adding a simple wedge of lemon/lime or simply topping a cocktail with fresh herbs can really amplify the presentation and make your drinks feel like you ordered from a bar/restaurant. Simply pick an ingredient that's in your drink: in this case, we are using the fresh lemon juice, so it was very easy to slice up the leftover lemon and add it to the rim of the glass!
Check out the ingredients and instructions for how to make this Lemon Basil Mojito below!
Half a Lemon, Juiced
6-8 Basil Leaves
2 Tbsp Simple Syrup
3 oz. White Rum
Sparkling Mineral Water
Lemon Slice and Basil for Garnish
HOW TO MAKE
Add lemon juice, basil leaves and simple syrup to a pint glass
Muddle all ingredients together
Add ice to a pretty glass of your choice (a highball works well, or in this case, we used an oversized wine glass)
Pour the muddled ingredients over the ice
Add the rum to the cocktail
Fill glass the rest of the way with sparkling mineral water
Garnish the glass with a slice of lemon and a few leaves of basil
We enjoyed a few of these on the first warm day of spring this year and they were absolutely delicious! Not a fan of basil? Get creative and use whatever herbs and fruit you would prefer! If you make this or another version, comment below and share all the details! Cheers!