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If you had to name a deliciously cool and refreshing rum cocktail, you’d probably be thinking of the mojito. Today I’ll be breaking down the mojito into its classic components and then adding in a little twist to enhance the flavor in this lavender mojito recipe.
What is a Mojito?
The classic mojito is made up of white rum, sugar, lime, soda water, and most importantly, muddled mint! It is the mint that makes the mojito a mojito. The herbal oils that are released when you muddle the leaves infuse into the cocktail, giving it its signature flavor. Top it off by serving over ice and you have one cool drink (pun intended).
My Approach to Mojitos
My approach to the mojito is to maximize the cool refreshing traits of the cocktail. I’ll be adding to the classic cooling mint flavors with the smoothness of blueberry and the soft floral notes of lavender. Don’t worry – if you can’t find lavender, I’ll share a simplified version for you!
The Challenge with Making Mojitos
The number one challenge with the mojito is also its best quality: the muddled mint. Muddling is the act of pressing ingredients to release juices and oils for better transfusion of flavor into a drink.
That said, many aren’t getting much practice in perfecting my muddling techniques. Also, having a muddler tool is not the most common kitchen tool to have, especially if you’re not regularly making cocktails. Your primary goal with the mint is to release the oils in the leaves without completely shredding them.
My Tips for Muddling
- Never use fragile glassware. You want to use a sturdy glass if you are going to be applying pressure to it. Otherwise, you risk the glass shattering, and you’ll end up with glass shards in your drink.
- Choose the right muddler for the job. There are a variety of muddlers out there: metal, wood, plastic, textured, smooth, and so on. When in doubt, I recommend you select the lighter, untextured wood or plastic varieties.
- Aim to press out the oils, not to shred the leaves. When you shred the leaves, you release bitter compounds into the cocktail that will make your drink taste more like medicine.
I like to think of the mojito as soda for adults. With the soda water, citrus, and copious amounts of sugar, it basically is a soda. As such, feel free to pair this lavender mojito recipe with burgers, sandwiches, salads, or just about anything you’d have with Sprite or 7-UP.
Tip for Developing Mojito Flavors and Alternative Twists
- As with most cocktails you want balance. A mojito should not be a sweet drink – aim for something that is a little more tart and herbally.
- If you like more citrus flavor in your drinks, you can zest limes and add that to the muddle to get even more fresh citrus flavor into your drink.
- I’m making a lavender simple syrup, but you can make any type you want
- Any edible floral ingredients can be made into syrups like rose
- Any citrus with zest and a little juice can work
- Herbs can also be made into simple syrups – thyme, sage, mint, and basil are all options
- Add fresh cucumber, as this is one of mint’s best friends. It’s another great way to add a cool, refreshing agent to your cocktail.
For a cocktail, there are quite a few tools needed to make this drink. If you are planning to make this lavender mojito recipe, I recommend tripling or quadrupling the recipe so several people can enjoy this refreshing mixed drink. Here are the tools you’ll need:
- A medium or small pot
- This is used for the simple syrup. You don’t want a large pot, as I’m not making enough to cover the whole bottom of a big pot. That would result in burned sugar or evaporated water. If you only have large pots in your kitchen you can double or triple the recipe for simple syrup, keeping the ratios consistent to guard against burning or evaporation.
- A small sieve is what I used, but you can also use a tea strainer, cheese cloth, or even a cheese grater will work.
- Highball Glass
- This is the traditionally tall, skinny glass for drinks. You may also know it as a Collins glass (named after the drink). Drinks served in highball glasses will pretty much always be on ice.
- If you do not have a highball glass, you can use a 16oz beer glass to keep a similar silhouette. Otherwise, any glassware is going to be fine as long as it is sturdy. Don’t use anything fragile (like a wine glass), as these will have the potential to break when muddling ingredients.
- I highly recommend a non-textured wooden one. The texture has potential to shred the fragile herbs like mint or basil, giving it a more bitter medicinal flavor.
- Shot glass or measuring cups
- You will need something to reliably measure the liquid ingredients.
- Cocktail Stirrer or Spoon
- If you have a dedicated cocktail stirrer use that. If not, just use a long spoon.
If you don’t own a muddler and are wondering how to make a mojito without a muddler, you could use the back end of a wooden spoon to muddle.
Alternatively, you could muddle your mint on a cutting board with the back end of a metal spoon. If you do this, know that you will lose some of the oil that gives the mojito its classic flavor.
How to Make a Mojito
Below you will find how to make my Lavender Blueberry Mojito, and I’ll keep it really simple. That way, if you want to swap out syrups or leave out the fruit altogether it’ll be easy to adjust for your tastes.