I love a good mojito. It is probably at the top of my list of cocktails I imbibe occasionally. When I was a younger gal, I would always order a vodka martini, very dry, with an olive. I could toss back a couple of those no problem. Well, maybe an occasional problem when I would try to get off the barstool, but that’s another story for another time.
I was inspired to make a cocktail when I picked up a bag of key limes at my local Hispanic market. Suddenly, I wanted to make a mojito. Or a margarita. I didn’t have rum or tequila in the house, so at that point it was all a dream anyway. The next day, after making a run to the local booze store, I had my rum in hand. And tequila, just in case I didn’t like my soon to developed cocktail.
Mojitos are made with lots of fresh mint, but I decided to change up the herbal notes in this mojito. I am growing a few different types of basil plants, one of which is Blue Spice Basil. It is unlike any basil you have ever tasted. There are herbal notes, but there is also a spicy note, and an almost vanilla like note. This was the perfect herb to make my simple syrup with.
I am lucky to have a friend, Loretta, who runs a small organic and biodynamic seedling company called Spade and Seeds. She sells her beautiful baby plants at local farmers markets here in Southern California. If you ever see Blue Spice basil at your local nursery, be sure to pick up a plant or two. Blue Spice basil is a wonderful addition to any herb garden.
The simple syrup will hold in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks if kept in a sealed jar or bottle. Try using it in other cocktails, possibly ones with tequila or vodka. Nothing more fun than trying out new cocktails, right?
Recipe: Blue Spice Basil and Key Lime Mojito
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup raw or turbinado sugar
- 1/2 cup Blue Spice basil leaves or sweet basil leaves
- 1 part amber rum
- 1 part Blue Spice basil simple syrup
- 2 parts fresh squeezed Key Lime juice
- sparkling water or seltzer
- In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil.
- Stirring occasionally, boil the syrup for 4-5 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove the syrup from the heat, stir in the basil leaves.
- Let the syrup cool to room temperature, strain out the leaves, and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Into a tall glass pour 1 part rum, 1 part simple syrup and 2 parts lime juice.
- (you can use a cocktail jigger or a cup measure. The ratio is what is important)
- Stir the mixture, add crushed ice, and fill the glass with sparkling water
- Garnish with a lime slice and a basil leaf.
Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.