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Zesty Lemon Lime Mojitos for Four

Lemon lime mojitos get a zesty treatment with ginger, and are prepared in a large batch rather than made one at a time. Party mojitos!

Karen's Zesty Lemon Lime Mojitos from SoupAddict.com - bright and refreshing with an extra special ingredient.

Holy Limepocalypse, Batman!

Have you seen the prices of limes lately? My jaw hit the floor this morning when I saw that Kroger had raised its lime prices overnight from 99¢ each to 4 for $5 (that’s Kroger marketing’s coy way of saying a buck twenty-five each). I think we’ve all noticed the higher lime prices this year in general, thanks, in part, to the Mexican drug cartel, but, wowsers.

I now must contemplate whether to stock up on this fruit at is currently inflated price. Will prices continue to rise as the harvest passes it peak? Should I wait until the lime supply switches from Mexico to … um … wait, who else sells us limes? Brazil (who sells us most of our juice oranges)? Argentina (they have a similar climate)? Does California grow limes for consumer sales? {Panic sets in} Good grief! Might we have to go the whole summer without limes? Without margaritas?

Whut? Inconceivable!

After reluctantly placing $10 worth of limes in my cart, I was grateful for the serendipity of today’s change-it-up mojito recipe. Premium lime prices or not, this weekend is Derby weekend, and there will be mojitos. (Mojitos are my replacement for the mint julep, which is just not a fave despite being the official cocktail of the Derby. Mint, spirits, it’s all good, right?) The happy fact of needing fewer limes was a bonus.

Karen's Zesty Lemon Lime Mojitos from SoupAddict.com - bright and refreshing with an extra special ingredient.

I had already decided weeks ago that I wanted to add some fresh lemon juice to my already-awesome mojitos. Not enough to make them lemony, but just the right proportion to let lemon juice do its amazing magic of making everything better and brighter.

And then, as I was pushing my cart down the lettuce wall of the produce aisle, my eye fell on another source of inspiration.

Karen's Zesty Lemon Lime Mojitos from SoupAddict.com - bright and refreshing with an extra special ingredient.

Ginger! Have you ever made homemade ginger ale? Fresh, bubbly ginger ale is totally the kick. And I thought, voilà! Ginger in the mojitos!

And then I got to thinking about how much of a pain it can be to make mojitos, and, considering the menu for Derby dinner, wouldn’t it be grand if I made a big batch of mojitos ahead of time instead of all that muddling in individual glasses, trying to get it done before the starting gates are set?

And so, ginger simple syrup happened. It was just. And it was good.

Karen's Zesty Lemon Lime Mojitos from SoupAddict.com - bright and refreshing with an extra special ingredient.

What I really love about this lemon lime mojitos recipe is that even though it simplifies making mojitos for you and your besties, it doesn’t skip over any of the details that create a truly great mojito. Muddling fresh mint leaves with granulated sugar is a very important step, as all those sandy grains really get in there and juice up the leaves, releasing all of the minty goodness into the lemon and lime slices.

So, the super-simple ginger simple syrup sweetens the big batch — and because it’s a syrup, the sugar’s already dissolved. Speedy! — but you still use a touch of granulated sugar to muddle the mint without over-sweetening the works. Clever, right?

Make the ginger simple syrup and squeeze the citrus ahead of time, and then stick everything in the fridge (including the rum and the club soda) for the day so it’s nice and chilly when you assemble the lemon lime mojitos for your peeps.

Personally, I really love these lemon lime mojitos after they’ve been sitting in the fridge, fully assembled (mint muddled and everything) for hours. But, use your best judgment (and I totally support your doing a test run of the recipe first. Quality control, right?)

As for the Derby, my money’s (figuratively) on Uncle Sigh, who’s owned by the Wounded Warrior Stables and is running on behalf of two veteran’s charities, Retrieving Freedom and Task Force Dagger Foundation.

Gooooo, Uncle Sigh!

Karen xo

 

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Karen's Zesty Lemon Lime Mojitos

Servings: 4
Author: Karen Gibson

Ingredients

for the ginger-infused simple syrup

  • 1 two-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • scant 1 cup granulated sugar (I used raw cane)
  • 1 cup water

for the mojitos

  • 30 mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 to 9 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger-infused simple syrup, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups white or silver rum, chilled
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups club soda, plus extra for serving, chilled
  • ice
  • 4 pretty sprigs of mint for garnish, optional
  • Special equipment: 90 ounce punch or salad bowl

Instructions

for the ginger-infused simple syrup

  • Add the three ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the ginger infuse the syrup for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain out the ginger slices and pour into a container for refrigeration. (Can be made several days in advance and kept in the fridge.)

for the muddled lemon-lime juice

  • Slice two limes into 1/8" slices and cut them into half moons. Slice one lemon into 1/8" slices and cut them into quarters. Place the citrus in a sturdy mixing bowl, along with the 30 mint leaves. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the citrus and mint, and muddle thoroughly. The sugar should be dissolved and the mint leaves well-bruised.

juice the citrus

  • Slice the remaining lemon and limes in half. Use a hand-held citrus squeezer or juicer (or, better, an electric juicer, if you have one) to produce one cup of lemon-lime juice. (You might not use all of the limes - reserve them for other usage, or slice them to garnish the bowl.)

assemble

  • Scrape the muddled mint and citrus slices into the punch bowl. Add the citrus juice, the simple syrup, rum, and club soda. (Use 1 cup of club soda for a stronger drink, or 1 1/2 cups to lighten, depending on your preferences.) Stir to mix. Add lots of ice, and use a fork to bring the mint, lime, and lemon pieces to the surface. Garnish with extra lime and lemon slices, if you wish.

to serve

  • Use a small ladle to fill each glass with the mojito mix, making sure to include mint leaves and citrus slices. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint, if desired. Serve with extra, well-chilled club soda on the side, which your guests can add as they wish.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
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Carol at Wild Goose Tea

Saturday 3rd of May 2014

I tagged this recipe. It looks refreshingly gorgeous. I am sure I will look gorgeous drinking it. In fact that sounds like an excuse for a new outfit. I am sure after I have one or maybe two, I will feel gorgeous. Anyone else in the vicinity who has a couple of these will view me as gorgeous. So I ask you, isn't that worth a lousy $10 for limes? Since I am writing this without drinking one of those, yep my jaw is on the floor right along with yours!

Phyllis Ryan

Friday 2nd of May 2014

Hooray for Derby day. The drinks so fresh and beautiful that I know with all the fruit they are good for you. Right?

SoupAddict

Friday 2nd of May 2014

That's my philosophy, Phyllis. I know that after testing these babies, I was feeling pretty good. ;)