What tastes better than a cold, refreshing cocktail on a hot August afternoon? The problem is that most of them are packed with calories. That frosty Pina Colada or Margarita can contain almost 800 calories! The reason most of these drinks are so calorie dense is from the excess sugars, especially in pre-made mixers. The good news is that drinks prepared from scratch can contain half as many calories and even less depending on your sweet tooth. When it comes to cocktails keep it simple. Also the more sugar in a drink the worse you will feel the next morning if you have one too many.
Mojitos are one of my favorite summer drinks. I think that this refreshing drink tastes amazing with very little sweetener. Give this recipe a try and see what you think. I’ve made it two ways, by the glass and by the pitcher.
What you will need:
For 2 tall glasses
3 or 4 limes
2 oz lime juice (fresh squeezed with pulp)
2 teaspoons agave nectar
3 oz white rum
6 oz sparkling mineral water or club soda (chilled)
fresh mint sprigs (spearmint preferred)
For a pitcher
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice with pulp
1/2 to 1 cup fresh mint, lightly packed (buy one or two bunches)
1 1/2 cup white rum
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 cups sparkling mineral water (chilled)
I always buy a few extra limes and some extra mint for garnish.
Place the agave nectar and mint sprigs in the bottom of large glass or container. (We’re making two glasses here) Muddle by gently by pressing the leaves to extract the mint oil. I used a wooden muddler but you can use the end of a wooden spoon, rolling pin, or even a fork if that is all you have. (I demonstrated in the small white ramekin since it was easier to see). I used about 4 or 5 sprigs but use more to suit your taste. Spearmint is the mint of choice for mojitos but it may not be easy to find. You can use whichever mint that is at your market.
Juice the limes. Depending on the size of the limes you will get about 1/1/2 to 2 tablespoons per lime so you will need 2 or 3 limes. Choose the largest, juiciest limes you can find. Don’t worry if they aren’t cosmetically beautiful. Keep them at room temperature. Roll the limes on the counter to soften them up. I used a juicer which works amazingly well and is a must if you juice a lot of lemons or limes. Cut the lime in half and juice away into a small bowl. If you don’t have a juicer a fork will work, although not as well. Place 1/2 spent lime husk in each glass.
Pour the lime juice, rum and mineral water into the agave mint mixture and stir. A average shot glass is around 1.5 ounces. Test yours by adding one ounce of water in your shot glass so you will know how far to pour to get an ounce, then you can use a shot glass for measuring. I used Don Q Cristal rum for the first time after reading some reviews on it. I love it. It’s light and refreshing with no bitter aftertaste and very reasonably priced. It makes a light, sparkly mojito.
Fill two glasses 2/3 full with crushed ice, pour your mixture over the ice and stir with a straw.
Approximately 130 calories per serving
Pitcher of Mojitos
Muddle agave nectar and mint leaves together in the bottom of a large pitcher. Juice limes, then add lime juice, rum and sparkling water. Mix together. Don’t add ice. You will not have a full pitcher since you will be pouring this over crushed ice. I use 1/4 cup agave which is sweet enough for my taste, however you can adjust to your taste. I have more on hand for my guests to add to their drinks if they wish. Crushed ice is the way to go for mojitos. It melts easily, which waters this concentrated recipe down some, and also keeps your drink frosty cold. I have made them before with ice cubes and it’s just not the same.
approximately 8-10 servings
Note: You can make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator for a few hours to bring out the flavors, then strain out mint before serving. Add a fresh sprig to each glass. The mint floating around looks pretty but it really gets caught in your teeth!
This is so light and refreshing it may be hard to stop at only one!
Hope you enjoy!