Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TODAY Show's 9 "Luscious Spins" on the Mojito...

As we set out to enjoy summer, I wanted to share this collection of 9 different "luscious spins" on the classic mojito.  TODAY Show contributor Stacy Adimando gathered the following yummy variations.

Happy summer!!  Enjoy!

Need a fabulous mojito recipe? Try these 9 luscious spins
Stacy Adimando
TODAY contributor

Making a real mojito involves more than just mixing rum, sugar, mint and lime in a glass. It takes a little technique: You have to carefully muddle the fresh mint and lime to bring out their flavor. But don't over-muddle; four or five seconds will do. Still, an excellent mojito is easy to make once you get the hang of it. Start with this terrific mojito recipe, and check out eight refreshing, summery variations.
1. Classic Mojito Cocktail  
Classic mojito

Created By: Joanne and Adam Gallagher

Just five ingredients—most of which you probably have at home—yield minty, fizzy, irresistibly delicious results in this straight-up mojito recipe

Yield: 1
You Will Need
·     2 tablespoons (1 ounce) freshly squeezed lime juice
·     2 teaspoons sugar
·     8 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
·     1/4 cup (2 ounces) white rum
·     1 cup ice
·     2 tablespoons (1 ounce) club soda
·     lime slice for garnish

1.           Add lime juice, sugar and eight mint leaves to a cocktail shaker. Use the end of a wooden spoon or cocktail muddler to bash (or muddle) the mint into the lime juice and sugar. This releases oils from the mint and helps the sugar dissolve into the lime juice.
2.           Add rum, stir well then pour into a glass filled with ice, leaving about an inch of room then top with club soda. Garnish with extra mint leaves and a lime slice.

Notes and Tips:

To make enough for four people follow these amounts:

·     1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
·     3 tablespoons sugar
·     32 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
·     1 cup white rum
·     4 cups ice
·     1/2 cup club soda
·     4 lime slices for garnish

2. Pink Grapefruit Mojito
Pink grapefruit mojito

Make a slushy grapefruit granita and transform it into this pretty pink-grapefruit mojito, or just use fresh grapefruit juice instead.

Yields 1 cocktail
·     lime wedge

·     sugar, to rim glass
6-7 mint leaves

·     1 ounce simple syrup, or more, to taste

·     1 1/2 ounces white rum

·     5 ounces Pink Grapefruit Granita (click here for recipe) or chilled grapefruit juice
ice cubes, if using grapefruit juice

·     Club soda, as needed to fill glasses

Run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass. Dip rim in sugar. Tear mint leaves and place in bottom of glass. Add simple syrup and muddle to release juice from mint leaves. Add rum and pink grapefruit granita or grapefruit juice. If using grapefruit juice, taste and adjust amount of simple syrup to taste and add a few ice cubes. Top off with club soda and stir.
Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
3. Basil Lychee Mojito
Basil lychee mojito

If rum isn't your spirit of choice, try this alternative mojito recipe, which calls for gin and fresh basil. Add a little lychee juice, and serve the drink up in a rocks glass or a fancy martini glass.
“Although I have dubbed this a 'mojito' it is not a Mojito at all in the traditional sense as it contains no rum or mint. It probably has more in common with the Caipirinha but again it uses gin instead of Cachaça. Either way it is delicious and it can be served long with crushed ice or strained as a Martini.”
Lychee – basil 'mojito

Serves 2

·     1 large lime, quartered
·     1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
·     1 tsp sugar syrup
·     100ml | 3 1/2 fl oz lychee juice
·     100ml | 3 1/2 fl oz gin
·     Handful fresh basil leaves


Put the lime, palm sugar and basil in your cocktail shaker. Muddle the limes with the end of a clean rolling pin, crushing the sugar and basil and getting the juice out of the limes.
Add the sugar syrup, lychee juice and gin. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously until a frost forms on the shaker.
Either strain into chilled martini glasses or serve in rocks glasses over plenty of crushed ice.
Note: Feel free to stir the cocktail instead of shaking it. Not wishing to enter a Bond-sized debate here...

4. Blueberry Mojito
Blueberry mojito

In this fruity mojito, pureed and whole blueberries make for a rich purple-blue hue and sweet-tart flavor.

Yield: 2 mojitos
Recipe Note: If you do not feel like pureeing your blueberries, just add them to the shaker and smash them with your muddler. It's faster, just not as pretty of an end result.
·     1 cup fresh blueberries, plus extra for garnish

·     4 oz clear rum
(i.e. Bacardi Superior Rum)
·     10 fresh mint leaves

·     2 teaspoons sugar

·     juice of 2 limes

·     6 oz club soda

·     ice
In a food processor or blender, puree blueberries until smooth. Set aside.
Add mint leaves and sugar to a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon) to muddle the mint and sugar. Add the lime juice, rum and pureed blueberries: shake vigorously.
Pour ice and club soda into two tall glasses and then pour in rum mixture. Gently stir. Garnish with a lime wedge, extra blueberries and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately.
Frosty coconut mojito

This frosty coconut cocktail is a triple whammy: It's made with coconut-flavored rum, coconut water and light coconut milk.

·     3/4 cup coconut rum

·     1/2 cup canned light coconut milk

·     1/4 cup coconut water

·     1/4 cup club soda or seltzer (I used coconut la croix)

·     1/2 cup mint simple syrup (recipe below)

·     2 limes, juiced

·     1/4 cup fresh mint, torn into pieces

·     1 1/2 cups ice, approximately
mint simple syrup
·     1/2 cup granulated sugar

·     1/2 cup water

·     10 fresh mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until ice is crushed and mixture is combined. Add more ice if needed, then taste and add a little extra rum if desired.
mint simple syrup
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat just until it bubbles, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Turn heat down to low for 2 minutes, then remove and let sit to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pomegranate mojito cocktail


Pomegranate rum is the secret to this drink's ruby-red color. Infuse your own batch of pomegranate rum up to two weeks in advance if you're planning to make this cocktail for a party. 
Place the mint and rum in your serving glass, and gently muddle together. Add the syrup and lime juice, and stir well. Then some ice cubes, and a splash of club soda if you like. Add a fresh sprig of mint for your garnish, with a sprinkle of pomegranate arils.
Pomegranate Rum
·     2 cups pomegranate arils (seeds)
·     2 cups good quality rum

Place the ingredients in a quart sized glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Store away from heat and light. Give a gentle shake daily. After two weeks, strain and pour into a clean bottle.
Minty Syrup
·     1 cup cane or turbinado sugar
·     1 cup water
·     1 cup fresh mint

Bring sugar and water to a simmer, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat. Add the mint, and stir. Let syrup cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Strain into a clean bottle. Store in the fridge. Use this method to make an array of herbal syrups – single ingredient or combinations of flavors. Can be frozen and will retain flavor well.

Tequila mojito


Using an aged tequila like reposado or (Patron) añejo gives this bold mojito a smoky finish and great depth of flavor.
Makes 2 Mojitos
Author: Jennifer Schmidt
Serves: 2

·     big handful of fresh mint leaves
·     1½ limes, quartered
·     30 ml (1 oz) simple syrup
·     60ml (2 oz) Patron Anejo or other Reposado or Anejo Tequila
·     2 cups ice cubes
·     soda water
·     sprigs of mint for garnish

Place the ice cubes, mint leaves, Tequila and simple syrup in the blender or cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the juice from the limes and divide the limes between each glass. Blend or shake until well combined. Divide between the glasses and top with soda water and sprigs of mint.

To make the simple syrup, place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before decanting into a sterilised bottle. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Strawberry rhubarb mojito

Strawberry jam plus an easy homemade rhubarb syrup are the key ingredients in this seasonal mojito. To make a bigger quantity for a party, multiply the ingredients and combine them in a pitcher, pour the drinks over ice, then top each guest’s glass with club soda.
Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Mojito
·     2 ounces of white rum
·     1 lime, juiced
·     1 teaspoon strawberry jam
·     1 tablespoon rhubarb simple syrup (*see recipe below)
·     1 strawberry chopped
·     8 mint leaves broken up
·     Club soda for top off
·     1 cups of ice
Garnish: lime
Fill cocktail shaker with lime juice, strawberries, strawberry jam, rhubarb syrup, and mint leaves
Muddle mixture until ingredients are married together
Stir in rum
Fill serving glass with ice
Add mixture to serving glass and top off with club soda
Pour mixture into serving glass
Garnish with lime
Yields: 1 serving

*Recipe: Rhubarb Syrup
·     1 cup of water
·     1 cup of sugar
·     2 stalks of rhubarb, sliced
       In a sauce pan combine sugar, water, and rhubarb.  Let it boil for until sugar dissolves
       Strain mixture and let it cool
Watermelon mojito

Fresh watermelon chunks pureed in a blender give this mojito an alluring color and quintessentially summery flavor. 


·     1/2 cup watermelon puree
·     1/2 lime, sliced
·     2 oz vodka
·     2 TBSP super fine sugar
·     1/2 cup diet sprite or club soda
·     1 sprig of fresh mint, roughly broken


1. To make the watermelon puree: Cube a watermelon and puree the cubes until smooth in a blender or with a immersion blender. .
2. In a shaker, combine sliced lime, sugar and mint. {we used a mason jar as it is sturdy enough to handle the muddling}
3. Use a muddler to crush the mint, lime and sugar. {we used a ice cream scoop in place of a muddler}
4. Add the vodka and pureed watermelon to the mixture and top with sprite or club soda.
5. Serve over ice

A traditional mojito is made with rum. We prefer vodka, but either one is OK to use.


Just for good measure (and because it's summer), I had to add one more watermelon drink recipe...


"Think of it as the all-American version of Venice's frosty-fruity sgroppino cocktail.  Instead of the lemons, freeze the flesh of a watermelon and puree it to an ice-cold slush.  Add vodka and Prosecco to the mix, enjoy!"


1. Cut, peel, cube, and freeze 4 lb seedless watermelon.

2. Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor.  

3. Add 1 oz vodka and 2 oz Prosecco per 8 oz slushie.