This is a simple twist on the classic mojito cocktail, but instead of rum, I used Vodka. Because I like mojitos on the sour side, I added extra lime juice compared to what a classic mojito recipe calls for (about a 1/4 cup more). This drink also calls for freshly made mint infused syrup (recipe follows) instead of confectioners sugar. The infused syrup has such a cooling, minty flavor that it cannot be substituted with confectioners' sugar even though some recipes use it. You can also double the simple syrup recipe below and store it to sweeten lemonades and iced teas, perfect for summer.
For the mint infused simple syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chopped fresh mint leaves
—Place everything into a saucepan and right when it starts to boil, remove from heat (you can wait 1 minute max after it boils to take off heat). Cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator.
For the cocktail (for four people):
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (add 1 cup if you like a really sour cocktail)
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest, packed
- 1 cup mint simple syrup (chilled)
- 1 1/4 cups Crystal Head Vodka
- 1 1/2 cup seltzer water (chilled)
- 2-3 cups crushed ice
- 1/4 cup chopped mint to mix into cocktail
- 4-5 fresh mint leaves for garnish
—Mix everything together (doesn't matter what order) and shake. At the end, garnish with mint for each cocktail. See below for photos of the whole process.
Here are some step-by-step photos of the process. Prepare fresh mint and lime. The skull in the background is Crystal Head vodka (click the link in the recipe section if you're interested in buying). You can also use any other vodka you have on hand.
Add the sugar, water, and freshly chopped mint into a saucepan. The finer you chop the mint, the mintier the syrup will be. Wait about 5-10 minutes until it starts to boil.
Just when it starts to boil, take it off the heat. You can wait 1 minute maximum to take it off, but don't wait any longer, or you'll ruin the flavor.
The mint syrup needs to be cooled to room temperature. After it is cooled, use a sift to filter out the mint and store syrup in the refridgerator for 3 hours.
The liquid should be clear, and should have a light greenish yellow tint. If the syrup is too dark, you've overcooked the syrup.
Grate fresh lime zest. You'll need about 2 limes (fully grated on all sides) to get 1 tablespoon.
Prepare all the ingredients for the cocktail. From left to right; Mint infused syrup, seltzer water, beaker with funnel is for the fresh squeezed lime juice, lime zest, and vodka.
Squeeze fresh lime; you need about 3/4 cup—1 cup if you like a very sour cocktail.
Mix everything together; add 1/4 chopped mint leaves, crushed ice, and shake. If you are prepping this in a pitcher, just stir vigorously for 30 seconds.
Garnish each cocktail with 1-2 fresh mint leaves and serve.