We live right up the street from Lake Erie and a beautiful portion of the beach that has a straight shot view of downtown. I love it because it reminds me of my childhood, where I grew up right up the street from Chautauqua Lake. When I heard that this month’s theme was ‘Americana’ I was really excited because what that means to me is time spent with family on the lake and I created this cocktail with that in mind. I love a nice crispy mojito and this version simplifies things so you bring the different components easily with you on-the-go to make it anywhere! The ingredients pack up perfectly for a picnic so make sure you check out this incredible Americana themed picnic from our Co-Founding Editor, Danny!
Instead of a typical mojito, which has to be muddled with sugar, mint and limes, etc. (which is not easy to do on the beach) I made a simple syrup infused with the mint. That way you get the sweetness and the mint flavor all in liquid form that’s even more flavorful. That gets mixed with some rum & rum soaked berries and topped with some berry soda water. It is so refreshing and flavorful and is PERFECT for summer. If you don’t drink alcohol, this also makes a seriously good mocktail without the rum![/columnize]
You can make the simple syrup ahead of time, making this even easier, it stores in the fridge in an airtight container for about a month! In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 cups water. Stir and bring to a boil over night heat. Once it starts to boil, turn it down immediately to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves, just a couple of minutes. Remove the pan from heat and add in a really large handful of fresh mint leaves. Stir and let steep for 10 minutes, then strain the mixture and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Once you’re ready to build your cocktail, fill a glass with crushed ice. Add a half shot of mint simple syrup, a shot of light rum (I like Bacardi), some sliced strawberries and some blueberries (I like to soak mine in rum ahead of time) and then top it with some mixed berry seltzer water. You can garnish with some berries and a mint leaf. I love packing up all these ingredients in a little cooler bag and building them in mason jars because it’s so easy!
[image type=”none” float=”none” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”8951″ alt=”Berry Mojitos by Danielle Gaddis for VRAI Magazine” title=”Berry Mojitos for Summertime Celebrations- VRAI Magazine”]
With a drink this refreshing, you can pair it with just about anything. If you want something that looks as mouth-watering as it tastes and really wow your guests, try Chef Karista’s Johnny Cakes!
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