With its simple base of mint, sugar, rum, lime and club soda, the Mojito is begging for fruity variations. The Strawberry Mojito was one of the first, adding ripe, red muddled strawberries to the refreshing mix. Those who shy away from sweetness might be a bit nervous about adding even more sweetness to the already sugary Mojito. And they are justified in their fears: When flavored Mojitos like the Strawberry version caught fire in the mid 2000s, giant chain restaurants added them to their menus, drowning them in sugar and artificial ingredients. The resulting cocktails were headaches in a glass. But when made correctly, with high quality ingredients and the right proportions, fruity Mojito variations need not be tooth-achingly saccharine. In fact, this Strawberry Mojito—despite its cotton candy coloring—is refreshing and vibrant. After a few different experiments in which we used less sugar and played with the amount of strawberries, we found that the best recipe was right in front of us the whole time: Our classic Mojito recipe with just a handful of strawberries added turned out to be the best. While the freshest, sweetest strawberries obviously result in the best version of this drink, you can use frozen berries if fresh strawberries aren’t available. Make sure to let them thaw before using them so you can actually muddle them into the cocktail, and add any accumulated syrup so you get as much fruit flavor as possible.
- Add mint, simple syrup and strawberries to a shaker tin and muddle.
- Add rum, lime juice and ice to the tin and shake.
- Strain into a Highball glass, fill with ice and top with club soda.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and a whole strawberry.
- 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...