Sweet & Sour History of Mojito?
A refreshing mix of mango, coconut water, lemon and mint, this Virgin Mojito Recipe will be your new favorite drink this summer! But first things first – what exactly is a mojito? This delicious sweet & sour cocktail of Cuban origin has won many hearts around the globe in both it’s alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties. It is believed that the beginnings of this lovely drink were not at all romantic but medicinal. The original Mojito was a concoction of a rum-type alcohol, mint, lime and cane sugar syrup and was used to curb a disease that was spread on the Cuban island in the 16th century. The drink was initially named El Draque, named after the pirate (some say explorer) who invaded Cuba during that time. Then in the hands of the African slaves, working on sugar plantations, it became popular as Mojito, derived from the African word ‘Mojo’ which means magic.
Mojito Becomes a Celebrity
During the prohibition era ( when alcohol was prohibited in the US), Havana, Cuba, became the ultimate destination for the Americans for a cocktail experience. Mojito’s association with Ernest Hemingway added hugely to the drink’s popularity. 1960’s onwards, mojito took a dip in it’s popularity as Americans went for shelf stable ingredients rather than fresh ones. Then the coolest thing happened to mojito – it was mentioned in a James Bond move, Die Another Day (2002). Pierce Brosnan offering the drink to Halle Barry kind of put a stamp of glamour on good old mojito. Mojito also made some showbiz appearances in “Miami Vice” and Johnny Depp’s ‘The Rum Diary”.
Virgin Mojito ( Mojito Mocktail)
Being a Muslim, I don’t drink alcohol. And, honestly, I think, alcohol doesn’t have a monopoly on awesome drinks. This Virgin Mojito Recipe is a proof which is always a hit with kids and adults alike. For a classic mojito mocktail, I simply mix mint, lemon/lime, sugar syrup, soda and ice. That’s a lovely refreshing treat in itself but on occasions, I love to jazz it up with different fruit juices. This Mango Coconut Water Virgin Mojito recipe is one of my most favorites for long hot summer weekends or for Iftar in the month of Ramadan. It’s almost the end of Spring for us here in Lahore. The summer sun is just around the corner. It’s very reassuring to know that through the rising temperatures, I’ll not only have most of my family by my side, but also, a crisp, cold, sweet & sour Virgin Mojito in my hand.
Mango Coconut Water Virgin Mojito
The ingredients in this lovely summery drink speak for themselves. Is mango a super food? From the fiber to vitamins and the fabulous flavor in between, I’d have to say yes! It is that perfect food for summers that nourishes your body. Coconut water is a delicious source of natural electrolytes. In fact, this cool and healthy beverage is dubbed as ‘nature’s sports drink’. Don’t confuse it with coconut milk which is a creamy white and thicker liquid as it incorporates coconut flesh. The light, mildly sweet and naturally cool coconut water could actually help improve your skin. digestion and heart health. Though not recommended for kidney patients because of high potassium content.
Many cool cocktails and mocktails with fresh herbs and fruits require muddling. Now what is muddling? It’s a technique in which you press the fresh ingredients against the side of the glass with a muddler or any blunt object to release flavors and aromas better. Over muddling the herbs can leave behind a bitter or stronger than desired taste in the drink. Usually lightly bruising them is quite enough.
How To Make Mint Simple Syrup
Learn to make your own Mint Simple Syrup to add instant flavor and freshness to your mocktails, iced teas and lemonades. You can replace sugar with honey as well. Simply cook together water, sugar/honey and mint leaves in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium low heat till the sugar or honey dissolves. For 1 cup of water, add 1/2 cup sugar or honey and 10-12 mint leaves. for a sweeter syrup, adjust the ratio so it is 1:1 for sugar/honey and water. Store in fridge in a clean airtight container for up to four weeks.
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6-8 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons or to taste Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup coconut water
1 cup mango puree
1/4 cup juice of lemon or lime
1 cup club soda or sparkling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few drops hot sauce of your choice (optional)
6-8 ice cube
a couple of mint sprigs for garnishing
THIS IS WHAT YOU DO
To make the mango puree, combine 1 peeled and chopped mango with lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth.
Take two tall glasses. Now divide the mint leaves between two glasses. Muddle the leaves with the back of a wooden spoon or any blunt object to release the mint oil and aroma.
Next add the mango and lemon puree, coconut water, salt, hot sauce and club soda. Mix with a long spoon or drinking straw. Depending on the sweetness of mango, you may want to add more or less mint simple syrup. It’s best to taste check before you serve.
Add lots of ice and serve garnished with an additional mint sprig.
Makes 2 servings