I didn’t really expect to be putting this much time into the blog with only 3 weeks to go until my wedding, but when super fun Internet People like Emily of The Pig and Quill and Gina of So Let’s Hang Out put on a virtual summer potluck party, you put your blogging pants on. I’ve been wanting to share the recipe for this drink, and I thought it fit in pretty well with their theme. Do you know these ladies? I met them recently through Billy’s #PopsicleWeek, and I immediately developed blog-crushes on both of them. You should check them out!
So this thing, the #SoLetsPigOut Summer Potluck, started with a week-long extravaganza of tasty recipes and giveaways from Emily and Gina, and ends today with a huge blowout of about 20+ bloggers sharing summer potluck-inspired recipes. So fun! You can find lists of all the recipes involved here and here. If you’re having a backyard BBQ any time soon, we’ve got you covered.
These blueberry mojitos evolved from a recipe that Robert and I developed together two summers ago. My mint plants were growing out of control, so I wanted to put it to good use and make some mojitos with them, as you do. Honestly, mojitos were the main reason for growing the mint in the first place. If you’ve seen my Fresh Mint Wish List, then you know I’m a fan of fresh mint, but as you can see from the list, I am particularly fond of mojitos and other minty alcoholic beverages. In my world, an herb garden = a cocktail garden.
Robert has always been more of a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of cook, whereas I come from a baking background and feel comforted by recipes and actual measurements. We developed this recipe earlier in our dating history, and I was definitely pleased by the idea of a boyfriend who wanted to get a little crazy and make blueberry mojitos. But, you know – without a recipe. To my sheltered and inexperienced foodie self it seemed so reckless and crazy – he was a “bad boy” in the kitchen. It might have made my heart go pitter-patter a little bit. (I’m so hard core.) I was a little nervous about the idea but I figured with these ingredients you can’t really go wrong. We didn’t.
It ended up being a really fun experiment and made me feel more confident about making cocktails on my own at home. We made these on an extremely lazy Fourth of July two years ago with two of our best friends. Going strong on the blueberry theme, we also made blueberry pancakes (one of my specialties). By the end of the meal, we all ended up on my living room floor in various positions, in a daze brought on by an overload of sugar and alcohol. Not a bad way to spend a lazy holiday, right?
I’m encouraging you to do the same. Maybe you could do without the sugar and alcohol coma, but if you have nowhere to be and want to have an amazing nap, reach for the stars. I have this recipe written as an individual serving in case your party is a party of one. If you’re having a legit party and feel like being a super hostess or a really good friend, you could make individual mojitos to order for your guests. But, you can just as easily scale this recipe up and make a big ol’ pitcher of it. You’ll probably have to make another pitcher an hour later, but that’s still better than making 17 individual mojitos. You might also want to locate some pillows for your guests.
If you’re making a pitcher of these, obviously skip the cocktail shaker part of the recipe. Just muddle a ton of mint in the bottom of your serving vessel, and then add everything else and give it a good stir. Leave the ice out of it or else you’re going to end up with some really watery mojitos, and nobody wants that. Maybe toss in some fresh blueberries for additional eye candy. Provide ice nearby for people to fill their cups before pouring themselves a drink. If you expect the pitcher to be sitting out for quite a while, strain out the mint because it could turn bitter. You could provide some fresh mint sprigs on the side for people to garnish their glasses with them. It’s always nice to be able to smell that fresh mint as you’re taking a sip of a mojito; it’s a major part of the experience.
Also – don’t be confined to this blueberry idea! The flavor comes from the simple syrup, so you could take this in any direction. Other berries would be great. My bestie and maid of honor recently got hooked on these mojitos and making her own syrups. She made this recipe with a peach basil syrup … and I think it’s better than this one. It depends on what you’re into. Right now I’m working on perfecting a strawberry rhubarb version. What would you make with it? I want to know! You just can’t go wrong with this … I mean, come on you guys – it’s a mojito. Cheers!
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- about 20-30 small sprigs of fresh mint (1/2 cup packed)
- ½ cup blueberries
- handful fresh mint leaves
- ¼ tsp granulated sugar
- 1 oz. white rum
- 1 oz. blueberry-mint simple syrup
- ½ oz. fresh lime juice (from about ¼ - ½ of a lime)
- 3 oz. club soda
- Put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- After it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low (so it simmers), stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Smash the berries against the side of the pan to help extract the juices.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Strain out the fruit and mint leaves, and store in a glass jar in the fridge. It should keep for quite a long time. (Yields about 1⅓ cup syrup)
- Put the mint leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Muddle for about a minute, either using a muddler or blunt end of a wooden spoon, etc. Don't be too rough - you just want to help coax the oils out of the mint. Once the mint smells strong and sweet you can stop.
- Add your ice (about 8-10 average-sized cubes), rum, simple syrup and lime juice, and shake it well. Pour that into your glass and top it off with the club soda.
- Serve with an extra sprig of fresh mint and a straw.