Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cherry Mojitos aren't really mojitos,
but they're delicious anyway

Recently I made I a cocktail that I think wasn't what it claimed to be.
   Bing Cherry Mojitos (click for the recipe) from Martha Stewart Living magazine were absolutely delicious and I highly recommend you make them, but I don’t think they’re really mojitos.
   In a recent food chat that I participated in on Twitter, a cocktail expert insisted that a mojito isn’t a mojito without mint, and I think she’s right.
   According to wikipedia, a mojito consists of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water (or club soda) and mint. There are variations, but these usually relate to the type of alcohol used, such as a flavored rum instead of white rum.
   Mojitos also involve muddling – mushing together the mint, lime juice and sugar with a muddler or wooden spoon handle before the rum and sparkling water is added.
   These Cherry Mojitos don’t have mint OR rum (vodka is used), and nothing is muddled.
   Nevertheless, they are definitely worth making. They are a fizzy, refreshing delight to serve on a warm summer evening.
   One small warning about the recipe: Step one, in which a simple syrup is made, says that it will make about two cups of syrup. I didn’t find this to be the case – it made about one cup. I would double the amount of sugar and water if you’re making all 12 servings the recipe says it produces. If you’re going to make six servings instead, the amount of sugar and water already listed in step one is fine – 1 ¼ cups sugar to 1 ¼ cups water.
   Water and sugar (I used Splenda instead) are brought to a boil in a small saucepan. The simple syrup is removed from the heat, and is left to cool completely. At this point, the syrup can be refrigerated.
   Freshly-squeezed lime juice is put into a bowl or container. Bing cherries (I used regular cherries instead) are halved, pitted, and added to the lime juice. The syrup is stirred in. Refrigerate mixture for at least one hour or overnight.
   There are two ways to serve the cocktails. For a large crowd, the cherry mixture and vodka can be stirred together in a large serving bowl, with people filling their own glasses with some mixture and then topping off their own servings with sparkling water or club soda.
   The second way, which I used, is to fill a couple glasses with ice, then spoon a half-cup of the cherry mixture in with a soup ladle - this is necessary to make sure several cherries make it into the drink. I then added 1.5 oz (44 mL) of vodka and 62.5 ml (2.1 oz) club soda. I stirred the ingredients together, then served the cocktails.

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