Another Mardi Gras is over. I just tried my first Basil Mojito, and it was great. I want to thank my friend John Mahaffie, who follows this blog, for bringing this delicious cocktail to my attention. I had always enjoyed the classic Mojito that is made with mint. When John mentioned in a response to my Mardi Gras post that he had seen a Basil Mojito on a cooking show, I had my doubts, but I knew I had to try it, so I googled the recipe and found several. For some reason, the first grocery store I went to was out of mint. I feared a pre-Mardi Gras mint rush (in
As soon as President Obama was done speaking (well, actually it was shortly after Bobby Jindal began speaking) I headed for the bar. I prepared three glasses, putting a teaspoon of sugar into each. Then into the first I put all mint leaves, into the second I put half mint leaves and half basil leaves, and into the third I put all basil leaves. Finally, I cut two fresh limes in half, and squeezed a half-lime into each of the three glasses, reserving the final lime half for a fourth Mojito, TBD. You should have smelled the room when I went to work with my favorite Muddler. Having muddled through, I poured the measure of light rum into each glass and stirred to ensure the sugar was dissolved. Then I added ice and topped off each glass with soda water from my Soda Siphon. (If you don’t have a siphon, feel free to use bottled or canned soda water.) The results were amazing. I had had my doubts about using basil, but the Basil Mojito was great. It actually seemed to taste a little smoother and cooler than the traditional mint Mojito, and I’m torn between the two. I will definitely have more Basil Mojitos in the future, but I won’t become a traditional Mojito apostate, either. If you get the chance, try these side by side and decide for yourself. This would be a great new cocktail to introduce to your friends at a Drink-of-the-Month club gathering.
2 oz light Rum
fresh squeezed juice of ½ Lime (½ oz )
1 tsp bar sugar
6-8 basil leaves (optionally use some mint)
Put the basil leaves and sugar into an Old Fashion glass. Squeeze the lime juice into the glass. Muddle well to bring out the smell and flavor of the basil. For a Basil Mint Mojito, replace some of the basil leaves with mint leaves. Add the rum and stir to dissolve the sugar. Fill the glass with ice, then top off with soda water and stir lightly. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve with a straw. Vary the basil to suit your taste.