Monday, May 28, 2012

Strawberry Mojito or Nojito

Two Iced Cocktails
Mojito and Nojito

Recipe adapted from Lynn

My friend Lynn is the queen of entertaining. Not only is she gracious and charming, she’s a natural planner, organizing and synthesizing details for all manner of theme parties in a way that seems effortless. She is ever calm, never rushed. When attending to last minute preparations as early guests arrive, she engages the guests as she goes about her work, inviting comment on placement of food and drink, or offering self-guided tours of the garden.

So leave it to Lynn to know the perfect drinks to serve to her husband’s college friend and his wife, even though she hadn’t met them yet. Not knowing whether they’d prefer refreshment of the alcoholic or nonalcoholic variety, she muddled up mint from her yard, lime, and local in-season strawberries, making a mixture that could go either way. This mojito-nojito strategy could also work well at parent-with-young-kid parties, or with other mixed groups.

Muddling up Lime
First Muddle: Squeezed Lime Quarters
Mojitos hail from Cuba, though their exact history is debated. They’re classified as highball cocktails, which means they contain more mixer than alcohol. As such, they’re served in a tall (highball) glass. However, Lynn suggests a shorter, wider glass for muddling. Muddling, I found out recently, is the crushing of cocktail ingredients to release their essential oils and/or juices. For this you need a muddler, any one of a number of pestle-like gadgets, from high techie stainless and silicon to simple wood. Don’t get the short, cheap, lacquered wood variety, which will lose little bits of lacquer into your drinks as time goes by.

Muddling up Lime with Sugar and Mint
First Muddle: Add Sugar and Mint
This recipe is for making one drink at a time. To make up a pitcher of mixer, Lynn crushes up a few limes with mint leaves, then adds some seasonally available Odwalla Summertime Limeade to save muddling time and energy. You can use any kind of limeade, including frozen reconstituted. She also might infuse her simple syrup with a handful of mint leaves (simple syrup recipe at bottom of page*) to reduce the amount of mint leaves to be muddled. If you’re making large quantities, serve the mixer chilled, along with mix-your-own rum, club soda, and ginger ale, and a bucket of ice.

If you have simple syrup on hand (or have time to make it), you can use about 2 tbsp. to replace the sugar in my recipe. Add it with the rum and club soda (or ginger ale). I’m too lazy today to make the syrup, so I’m muddling with some superfine sugar. It’s a holiday, after all.

Enjoy your Memorial Day. Cheers!

Rum, Garden Mint, Strawberries, and Lime
Top Quality Ingredients
Strawberry Mojitos or Nojitos
serves 1

4-5 mint leaves
½ lime
2 – 3 strawberries
1 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 ½ oz light rum (mojito)
Club soda (mojito)
Ginger ale (nojito)
Ice cubes
Lime and/or mint for garnish (optional)

For Mojito:

Slice half-lime into two wedges. Squeeze into a wide, flat-bottomed glass. Add sugar. Use muddler to squish the limes. Be sure to bruise lime skin to squeeze out the essential oils. Add mint leaves and muddle more. Pour this into glass.

Cut strawberries into bite-sized pieces, and muddle more gently, releasing their juice. Add to glass.

Add rum to glass. Add ice. Pour in club soda and stir to blend. Garnish with lime wedge or mint leaf.

For Nojito:

Slice half-lime and squeeze both wedges into glass and muddle as for mojito, but don’t add sugar. When lime is muddled, add mint and continue muddling as for mojito. Pour this into glass.

Cut up strawberries and muddle as for mojito. Add strawberries to glass.

Add ginger ale and ice. Stir to blend. Garnish with lime wedge or mint leaf.

Feel the refreshment!

*Simple sugar syrup is available in stores, but easy and cheap to make yourself.Bring 1 part water to a boil. Add 2 parts sugar, stirring constantly. Remove from heat immediately when sugar is dissolved. Pour into heatproof covered storage container and allow mixture to thicken and cool. Refrigerate, and use within 6 months. Bring syrup to room temperature before using in drinks, to assure easy mixing.


  1. Wow, I'm blushing! Thanks for the complement!

  2. Thank you, Lynn, mojitos came out great, even though I was too lazy to make the simple syrup!