With the exception of today’s much needed torrential downpour, the past week and weekend were filled with hot and heavy summer days. Days that should always be spent at the beach or by the pool, with light lunches, cold drinks, and lots of sun screen.
Until recently, my choices for cold drinks were juice, cold water, or pop. Not very inspiring or sophisticated, I know. But when you don’t consume alcohol, there aren’t many choices – or so I thought. For the longest time I was stuck with drinks that were too sweet when I was out at restaurants or at friends’ parties (and even my own get-togethers). But not anymore! That is because last weekend, my buddy Amélie introduced me to the world of mojitos unmarred by alcohol.
Amélie’s backyard is full to the brim with herbs and vegetables – 5 kinds of tomatoes, basil to make enough pesto for 3 families, fennel, coriander, cucumber, chives, and lets not forget, a tonne of mint. All of this plus a pool, other non-edible plants, 5 adult trees, a deck, lovingly fitted into a modestly sized suburban yard in Aylmer, Quebec. With this much fresh produce within arm’s reach, combined with Amélie’s natural talent for creating delicious things, it’s always wonderful to visit.
And so it was in this idyllic setting, enjoying the heat, when drinks were being made.
We grabbed a bunch of mint, cut up some limes, and handed them over to the chef. And as if by magic Amélie mixed it all up and served us sparkly glasses of bright yellow punctured by a sprig of bright green mint. “Mojitos!” she said, with a touch of glee in her voice.
It was delicious! Unassuming, not too sweet, and refreshing. It was a show stopper.
Here is how you can make it too, with measurements for each person/serving so you can scale up as needed.
- 1 lime
- A handful of fresh mint leaves and a few stalks for garnish
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- Carbonated water like Perrier
- Ice cubes
In a shallow pitcher or mason jar, place the limes cut in half and the mint leaves. Crush the limes and mint leaves to get the juice out – this crushing action will bruise the mint leaves, allowing its essential oils to be released.
Remove the lime husks and discard. Add pineapple juice into the pitcher, and stir. In a highball glass or a cocktail glass, place 2 large ice cubes. Fill the glass with the pineapple-lime-mint mixture to halfway, and top with carbonated water. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy the looks of your friends’ faces as they take a swig.