Whenever I think of summer, I think of gorgeous, colorful fruit. And then I’m quickly overcome with nostalgia remembering summers eating watermelon at family barbecues, and picking strawberries and peaches at the nearby farms. Even though I’m an expat living on what seems like a never-ending-summer island, I still get excited for summer and it’s delectable fruit. Surprisingly, most of our fruit is brought in, so come summertime the shelves are finally full and the prices are quite reasonable. Yes, it’s still more than what I’d pay in the states, but the prices no longer make me cringe.
About a couple years ago a modern restaurant opened here in Barbados, and I fell in love with their strawberry mojitos. And so as I stumbled upon strawberries on sale at the local market, I attempted my own lower-calorie version this past weekend. It came out brilliantly, and it’s now my new favorite summer cocktail.
Strawberry mojitos are light and refreshing and make the perfect accessory to any weekend party. Traditional mojitos either call for a tablespoon of granulated sugar, or a similar amount of simple syrup. In this version, I used pure honey (organic would be best, but I couldn’t find it in the market here), and because it’s a little sweeter than plain sugar I used much less than traditional recipes require. The honey simply adds a bit of fun flavor to the already natural sweetness from the strawberries, limes, and mint.
If you don’t have a muddler, a fork or the back of a spoon will work just fine! You just want to be sure to crush the strawberries and mint together in order to release their flavor. You can also chop the mint and strawberries to make the process a little easier.
I like to combine all my ingredients in separate bowls and glasses, and then divide them evenly among serving glasses. I’m not the best bartender, so this just ensures each drink comes out the same as the next. If you don’t want the extra dishes though, feel free to mix the ingredients straight into your serving glasses.
- 4 teaspoons simple honey syrup (directions below)
- 6 fresh medium-sized strawberries
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 1 lime
- 4 ounces of light rum
- soda water
- lime slices and mint sprigs for garnish
- Simple honey syrup: In a small microwave safe bowl, gently warm 2 teaspoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of water together. Stir and heat until the honey has diluted in the water. Set aside.
- Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut into quarters.
- If you like your mint to be a little smaller, chop the mint leaves.
- In a small bowl, muddle the syrup mixture, strawberries and mint leaves together. If you do not have a muddler then you can use a fork or the back of a spoon, so long as you mash the strawberries and mint leaves well.
- Cut the lime in half. Then squeeze the juice from each half into two glasses.
- Add 2 ounces of rum and the muddled strawberry mixture to each glass.
- Fill both glasses with ice and top with soda water (to taste).
- Garnish with lime slices and mint sprigs.
- Now put your feet up, relax, and enjoy!
- Use can substitute agave nectar in place of the honey. Make the syrup using the same amounts, but instead only use 3 teaspoons of the syrup for the muddled mixture.
This is also a wonderful recipe to double or quadruple, add to a pitcher, and bring to your next barbecue. Enjoy and I hope you love it as much as I do.
What’s your favorite summer cocktail?