At long last, Swinter is over.
Nope – that’s no typo. Mr. Musky dubbed this month Swinter because Old Man Winter refused to give up, having his masochistic way with Ms. Spring until the bitter end. Now there’s no better view then the 10 day forecast on my weather app, promising infinite days of sunny, 70 degree weather for the foreseeable future.
Which immediately propels me into the springtime cocktail rotation. The brown stuff takes a temporary rest on the shelf, until a chilly night by the fire pit raises it’s little arm and I sip on a Brandy Old Fashioned in early June. But for now, I lighten things up for a few months and crack out the rum, vodka, and gin for base alcohol inspiration.
I toyed around with mojitos for quite some time, and finally succumbed to the fact that they simply must have an element of simple syrup involved. Ever the rebel, I first made today’s drink sans sugar, and it was really tart. For those who follow a paleo or sugar free diet, leave the sugar out, or sub the simple syrup with honey simple syrup (equal parts honey and water, combined). And if you’re a lucky duck who happens to own a bottle of Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup, then for heaven’s sake, crack it open. It takes the tart, unsweetened Figgy Mojito to the land of Apéritif nirvana.
I happen to love figs, and when I saw unsweetened fig juice at the store I immediately grabbed it. If you’re not feeling figgy, then play around with the flavor profile of your mojito. Prefer cherry juice? Make a Cherry Mojito. Like pineapple? Pineapple Mojito. Just seek out juice that doesn’t have a bunch of added sugar to it. You can control the sweetness of your drink by adding in the simple syrup or gum syrup, but you can’t alter a thing if the juice you use is chock full of sugar to begin with.
Have a fantastic weekend, my friends. I’m heading southwest to see Mama K. and a friend today, while we hang out with blogger extraordinaire Kelle Hampton, New York Times Bestselling author of Bloom, who unknowingly influenced me to start Genuinely Speaking. If you are in the Quad Cities and are looking for something inspiring tonight, you can still purchase tickets here. Proceeds benefit Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities.
- 2 springs fresh mint
- 2 ounces fig juice, divided
- ½ oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and hot water, stirred until the sugar dissolved) OR gum syrup OR honey simple syrup
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ lime that's been squeezed
- 3 ounces sparkling water or club soda
- crushed ice
- With a wooden muddler or the back of a spoon, gently muddle together one mint sprig and one ounce of the fig juice and the simple syrup just until you begin to smell the mint.
- To a cocktail shaker, add the contents of the muddled mint, the remaining fig juice, the rum, and the lime juice.
- Shake until combined.
- Strain into a cocktail glass filled with crushed ice and the spent lime half.
- Garnish with the other mint sprig. Enjoy!