When you think “Mojito,” you probably picture a hot and humid Miami beach. You can almost feel the sweat rolling down your forehead like the condensation rolling down the ice cold glass full of minty, rummy goodness. But the Mojito is actually incredible any time of year, especially when it’s paired with a fall fruit like cranberries. The tart berries and tannic juice play off the Cuban cocktail’s minty sweetness, making for a gulpable Cranberry Mojito you can drink all year round. While you could simply throw a splash of cranberry juice (or, if you must, cranberry cocktail) into a Mojito, muddling fresh cranberries into the drink adds an extra dimension of flavor (and an all-important hit of vitamin C). The additional cranberry juice (use the good stuff) boosts the fresh cranberry flavor and also rounds out the cocktail so it’s not too sweet and not too tart. Pro tip: When you’re muddling the cranberries with the simple syrup, don’t hold back. You want to pulverize those berries so you get as much of their lip-puckering flavor into the drink as possible. But when you add the mint, be gentle. If you muddle mint too aggressively, you’ll end up with muddy, bitter flavors. All you want to do is release the herb’s oils into the cocktail. Muddle correctly, and you’ll end up with a gorgeous drink that you can serve to anyone from Vodka-Cran drinkers to cocktail snobs.
- Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves, then immediately take the saucepan off the heat.
- Let cool, then pour into a container (a Mason jar works nicely) and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
In terms of the Mojito’s history, we know it was invented in Cuba and that’s about it. The most oft-repeated origin story has the Mojito refreshing the 16th century’s most colorful privateer/slaver/admiral/politician Sir Francis Drake. Apparently the captain and his crew were plagued by dysentery and scurvy during their raids on the Spanish N...