Muddling everything in a mixing glass makes this an easy cocktail to create. Watermelon chunks, mint sprigs, and some simple syrup were smashed with the muddler before rum, lime juice, and ice were added. The mixture was shaken until chilled and then poured through the strainer into an ice-filled glass. For cocktails, I like to crush ice by whacking it with a hammer after sealing it in a plastic bag and wrapping it in a towel. Last, it was topped with some carbonated water. Mint and lime wedges were added for garnish.
Smashed fruit with mint and rum never fails to make a refreshing cocktail, and juicy watermelon is an ideal choice. The classic Mojito is also in the book along with a story about how dreadful the drink became when bartenders turned to mixes rather than using fresh mint. I’m inspired to sort through my liquor cabinet, add some new bottles, and shake and stir my way through all of these cocktail recipes.
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permissions from From Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State by David Alan/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.
Like most classic Sour-formula cocktails, the Mojito is an easy target for market-fresh improvisation. Any number or combination of fresh fruits can be muddled with the mint and other herbs to create an easy seasonal twist. My favorite such variation is made with watermelon, which to me is synonymous with summer and always in the refrigerator during its long season.
4 large sprigs fresh mint
About 1/2 cup cubed and seeded watermelon
1/2 to 3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
1 1/2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 to 1 1/2 ounces carbonated water
Lime wedge, for garnish
Gently muddle three of the mint sprigs and the watermelon with the simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add the rum and lime juice and shake vigorously with ice to chill. You may need to adjust the amount of syrup depending on how sweet your watermelon is. Strain into an icefilled Collins glass. Top with the carbonated water. Garnish with the remaining mint sprig and the lime wedge and serve with a straw.
While a bottle of carbonated water from the grocery store will get the job done, I prefer charged water from a soda siphon. Bottled bubble water—especially in plastic bottles—tends to go flat quickly, whereas a siphon of charged water will stay perky in the fridge for a long time. More important, the water coming out of a siphon does so with force and invigorates the drink from the bottom up, as opposed to just sitting on the top of the glass. The standard soda siphon is reasonably inexpensive, and is definitely cost-effective in the long run. Simply fill the siphon with filtered water, charge with a CO2 cartridge, and refrigerate carbonated water.
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