Saturday, July 6, 2013
Simple Summer Mojitos
It is flipping hot, actually. And humid. Thank heavens for air conditioning! I honestly think if I had to live somewhere as muggy as Western PA in July without AC, I would lose my will to live. Call me dramatic if you must, but the humidity right now is seriously out of control.
I'm always astounded that air conditioning wasn't invented until the 20th century, and even after that wasn't widely used until the middle of the century. If I had been around when the distribution of electricity was implemented, the FIRST THING I would have done would have been to invent residential air conditioning... Given I was at least an engineer and probably also a genius.
Fun fact: great strides were made in the technology behind air conditioning during the construction of the Panama Canal. Workers were contracting malaria from mosquitos, but they thought it was from the heat, so they developed AC as a preventative measure. Obviously it didn't work, which was bad news for the guys with malaria, but great in the long run for us today.
I think the best relief during these hot, humid day is a nice, cold beverage. Preferably made with rum. I made these simple mojitos for my family and they were a smashing success.
I call them simple because rather than muddling the mint and sugar as you would for a traditional mojito, I made a mint simple syrup to expedite the drink-making process. Muddling, shmuddling. Ain't nobody got time for that shit.
The other great thing about this recipe is you make the syrup ahead of time, so depending on how much you make, you could just throw together a pitcher of mojitos and serve a crowd in under a minute. I recommend making these as soon as humanly possible. You will thank yourself later.
Simple Summer Mojitos
Light rum (e.g. Bacardi)
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 bunches mint
Zest 2-3 limes with a microplane-- you want about 1 T of zest. Take the leaves of the mint off the stems and add them to a small pot with the sugar, lime zest, and water. You want approximately 2 handfuls of mint. If you buy one of those herb packs at the grocery store, this should be sufficient. Put the pot over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and leave the mixture to cool on the stove.
While your simple syrup cools, juice your limes til you have approximately 1/3 cup of juice. If you like your drinks on the tart side, juice til you have 1/2 cup. Once your syrup has cooled, strain it and combine it with your lime juice. Store it in a resealable container in the fridge. I put mine in a sippy cup, which worked great for pouring later.
When you want your drink, put some ice in a glass with desired amount of rum (recommended 1.5oz = 1 shot). Add an equal amount of simple syrup. Top off with club soda and a lime wedge. Sit back, cool off, and enjoy the deliciousness.