Mocktails are tricky: combinations of flavors and textures that work with booze in the picture don’t look anything like a real cocktail when you take the booze out. A Mojito without rum is basically just mint and lime and sugar â€“ minty limeade. Nice, but not really aÂ mocktail, not something you’d want to serve a non-drinking guest at a cocktail party. So coming up with a Mocktail Mojito means playing around a bit until you find something that works.Â â€“Â Andrew
A Mocktail Mojito
To make the mint syrup: first blanch the leaves of 5-7 mint sprigs in boiling water for 15 seconds, then immediately plunge the leaves in ice water for a minute. (This will preserve the mint’s color.) Make a simple syrup by melting a cup of white sugar into a cup of water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Combine the syrup and mint leaves in a blender and pulse until the leaves are chopped up but not liquified. Strain the syrup through a coffee filter or cheesecloth and bottle, then refrigerate.
To make the mocktail: muddle the half a lime in the bottom of a highball glass, then add the syrups and coconut water. Fill the glass with ice and top with tonic water. Give it a stir, garnish with a mint sprig, and enjoy!
Mint and lime and sugar, of course, but tonic water â€“ bitter from the quinine â€“ instead of soda water in a Mojito? But it makes sense! Cutting out the rum means cutting out a bitterness that the tonic helps replace. The coconut water adds a bit of a tang and some texture to the drink, while the pine adds a subtle depth of flavor that echoes some of the crisp, funky ester flavors you’d get from rum.
So this mocktail isn’t going to taste like a real Mojito, but it comes pretty close to matchingÂ the look andÂ feelÂ of a Mojito, in a way that a glass of limeade wouldn’t cut it.
(Donâ€™t forget to follow us onÂ Instagram, where weâ€™ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)
Glassware byÂ Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful PaperÂ