now, in honor of this already 72° at 7:30am day, i'm going to talk about my most favorite summer beverage ever:
just looking at that picture makes my mouth water. ever since my first sip of this magical drink- i've been hooked. it's gotten to the point of an obsession.
if we're at a bar, my first question "do you serve mojiotos?" out to eat, "...mojitos?" children's birthday parties, "...um, mojitos?" you catch my drift. when sumer hits- it's mojito mode for me.
so- imagine me last summer- very pregnant & unable to indulge. also imagine my sadistic husband who took every opportunity to order a mojito while we were out, knowing full well that i was dying inside. he is pure evil!
well so what- i knew i'd be un-pregnant in a few months & then i'd have a baby so i wouldn't even think about mojitos & then by next summer- YAY! mojito time!!! right, right?!?!
fast forward to now. yes- i am once again "in the family way" so i could see the wheels in the hubs head turning- oiled in the sweet knowledge that he has a sure method of torture for the entire summer. he was practically salivating with the thought (i'm saying 50% for mojitos & %50 for my pain & suffering)
well i'm not going to stand for it. NO! i woke up on saturday & said to myself, "SELF! YOU WILL HAVE MOJITOS THIS SUMMER! HOOOOOORAY!" so, with my infant daughter & 4 month old fetus in tow- i headed off to find the most perfect limes- the most minty mint & some kind of substitute for top shelf rum.
mission accomplished. now i simply had to wait for an excuse to make an entire pitcher of virgin mojitos....but of course! father's day dinner at the in-laws! hooray! my mother in law doesn't drink, i can't drink & my brother in law's girlfriend is also "with child"- score.
while i waited for sunday to arrive- i decided to make something else- Mojito Cupcakes. um, i should stop now- because they were so good i wanted to cry. i promise to post the recipe & pics on my food blog (which i know i've been neglecting). i may or may not have eaten 3. but whatever.
sunday morning dawned hot & muggy. perfect mojito weather. after letting my husband bask in the glow of father's day gifts & paid for by me breakfast, it was off to the in-laws where my virgin mojito plan would be put into action. we arrived & while he was distracted by "man stuff" (dunno what that is really, him & his dad seem to be pretty into it) i got to work.
chopping, slicing, picking, muddling, crushing, juicing- hard work! my mother in law wandered in & said "ooooh! it smells good in here!" i wish i could say this is hard for my mother in law to say because she's some sort of cold hearted wench that hates me & wants to see me unhappy in everything, because that would add lots of awesome to my mojito story, but i simply can't because my mother in law is possibly the sweetest thing in the whole world. she's like puppies, ice cream & sunshine all rolled into one hot, fluffy & tasty ball. actually- that makes her sound kind of gross- but you know what i mean. ANYWAY- i digress.
after about 20 minutes (i made a huge ass pitcher btw)- my work was done. the kitchen smelled like summer & in front of my was a large pitcher of ice cold virgin mojito. it was bubbly & green. i wanted to stick the straw right into it & keep it for myself. but that's selfish- and i'm very giving.
so i got out 4 glasses- scooped some mojito yum into each one (mojito yum = muddled up lime, mint & ice) and filled them to the tippy top. i popped a straw in each one & carrier them out. my father in law (who doesn't look at things before they go into his mouth) gave me the desired reaction. his eyes got big & he said "man oh man. this stuff is good!" this caused the hubs head to snap up like "...what is this?" he spied the glass- then he spied me drinking the contents of said glass- and i could see his plans for summer torture come crashing down. honestly- he looked a little hurt. like, "why would you do this to me?"
sweet victory. but he was a good sport. he drank his virgin mojito & stated that it was swell. then my brother in law & his girlfriend arrived & they also gave the thumbs up. i wound up making another pitcher & besides an after dinner coffee- that was all we drank. no one even touched the rum my husband had brought. sucker.
so there you have it. virgin mojitos are good. this is coming from a die hard non-virgin mojito fan. i don't think anything can make up for the missing kick of top shelf rum- but it's ok. at least you know you can drink 4 glasses & not have to pay for it in the morning.
so here's my easy peasy recipe for Virgin Mojitos. i say easy peasy because traditional mojitos use simple syrup, club soda, rum, limes & mint. but i can't have rum, and i didn't want to make simple syrup & i couldn't find a 2 liter bottle of club soda. so i compromised. and it worked.
Virgin Mojitos (this makes a very large pitcher)
- 2 liter bottle of 7up
- 4-5 limes
- fresh mint (1 large bunch is enough for 2 pitchers)
- 1 tblsp sugar
slice the limes & then cut those slices in half. pick off about 1 cup worth of mint leaves. toss the limes, mint & sugar into the pitcher & start muddling. this means smashing the limes & mint together- get the lime juices flowing & the oils running from that mint. muddle, muddle, muddle! i use a muddling stick i got off a bottle of Bacardi- but you can use whatever you have on hand.
add the ice- i used a good 4 cups or so- and mix. i used a spoon to mix the ice & muddled mess together ( you don't want all the good stuff on the bottom). then add the 7up- just pour it in. then let it sit for 5 minutes or so. i know it's hard- but you can do it. get out some glasses & using a slotted spoon- spoon some of the muddled mess (ice & all) into each glass. then put the top on the pitcher & fill up each glass.
pop a straw into each one & enjoy! (the straw is a MUST because otherwise you wind up with mint pieces in your teeth. not as fun as it sounds)if you're not down with 7up- you can use Ginger Ale, Sprite- whatever. i liked 7up the best for this. and if you want to be more "original" then go ahead & use club soda. however you WILL need a sweetener so you'll have to use a ton of sugar (and have gritty mojitos) or you can make a simple syrup (this is equal parts water & sugar boiled together & cooled. pretty simple- but not as simple as a bottle of 7up!)
and there you have it. i hope everyone had a wonderful weekend & here's to a good (and hopefully quick) workweek!