Showing posts with label mojitos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mojitos. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lemon Grass Mojitos: Variation on a Favorite Summer Cocktail from Jamie Oliver

My favorite cocktail to order or make has to be the mojito. There is just something about the lime-mint-rum combination that makes me feel refreshed and happy. (Go to the "mojitos" label on my side bar for some of my favorite recipes for tropical mojito variations.) Since it is all about drinks this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, I searched to see if Jamie Oliver had a mojito recipe... and indeed he did... these Lemon Grass Mojitos from his website.

Making it even better, I got to use local lemon grass, limes and mint --always a bonus to be able to imbibe with locally-grown ingredients. ;-) These mojitos are lightly sweet with floral notes from the lemon grass, but still fresh and crisp from the lime and mint.

A perfect choice for me for "Bevvies Week."

Lemon Grass Mojitos
by Jamie Oliver
(Makes 2 Servings)

2 sticks of lemon grass
4 tablespoons light brown sugar (I reduced to 2 teaspoons)
6 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
2 limes, cut into wedges
100ml (about 1/2 cup) good-quality rum
a large handful of crushed ice, to serve
soda water, to serve (I used ginger ale)

Finely chop the base of each stick of lemon grass and divide between two tall glasses. Split the sugar and mint leaves between them, then crush with a muddler or the end of a rolling pin to release all the flavours. Add the lime wedges, bash up the mixture a little more, then pour 50ml of rum into each one. Fill the glasses with crushed ice and top up with soda.

Notes/Results: Cool and refreshing. These mojitos have a slightly more sophisticated taste but are similar enough to the classic drink that mojito lovers won't be disappointed. I did lessen the sugar to 1 teaspoon per glass, mainly because I used ginger ale instead of soda water for the bubbles (I was out of soda water), but otherwise I kept the recipe the same. I would make these again.

You can check out what "bevvies" that the other IHCC participants made by going to the post here, and following the links.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers and a Cookbook Review of "On a Stick"

A friend of mine can't stand wooden skewers or chopsticks. Seriously... It is almost a phobic state. She can't bear the feel of them in her mouth or seeing anyone else at the table eat with them. (Not that I am one to talk about phobias--I am a supposed grown-up with a deathly fear of hypodermic needles and can't even stand to see them in person or on a television or a movie screen.) In any case, (if you were wondering where I was going with this), ;-) my friend may not be the best audience for "On a Stick: 80 Party-Perfect Recipes" by food blogger and photographer extraordinaire, Matt Armendariz, but nearly everyone else is.

"On a Stick" is a fun and drool-inducing book of easy recipes for a variety of foods that require no silverware because they are stuck on wood or metal skewers, cocktail picks, Popsicle sticks and even rosemary branches and sugarcane. Recipes for global foods both common (satays, kebabs, fruit skewers, ice pops) and unusual (Deep-Fried Mac 'n' Cheese, Panzanella, Pizza Skewers, Pineapple Funnels) can be found as Armendariz proclaims "Food on a stick just tastes better!"

Each of the 80 recipes, divided between sweet and savory foods, is accompanied by a gorgeous color photograph that seems to leap off the page. The book has chapters on Sticks and Skewers--to showcase how to serve your food on a stick, and Dips and Sauces--to pair with your your skewered treats. "On a Stick" is a great addition to any cookbook shelf and is perfect for those who like to entertain or anyone who just enjoys good, fun-to-eat food. It would be an excellent hostess, birthday or shower gift, especially when packaged together with a variety of different skewers.

Many recipes caught my eye to "road test" this book. I ruled out the meat and the fried foods to fit with my current eating plan. I thought something sweet would be fun and when I came across the Mojito Melon Fruit Skewer, I knew it was the recipe for me. A well-crafted mojito is my favorite cocktail, and I loved the idea of combining it with healthy honeydew melon for a delicious cocktail on a stick.

Matt says, "Fruit on a stick is fun for the grown-up set! The minty sweet taste of a mojito makes a tasty dressing for cool honeydew melon. This recipe is a favorite at summer parties."

Mojito Melon Fruit Skewers with Mojito Mix
Reprinted with Permission from "On a Stick"
(Serves 4)

8 pop sticks
1/2 honeydew melon, cut into 8 wedges

Mojito Mix:
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
juice of 3 limes
5 sprigs of mint
3/4 cup white rum

Arrange melon wedges in an 8-by-8 inch baking dish.

Make the mojito mix: Place all ingredients plus 1/2 cup water in a blender and pulse until mint is finely chopped. Pour mixture over melon wedges and refrigerate 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pierce each melon wedge with a pop stick and arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Freeze 20 to 30 minutes. Serve cold.

Notes/Results: Genius! These potent little sticks are delicious--the tangy lime, cooling mint and kick of rum soak into the melon making it a slightly sweet and very refreshing adult treat. Placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes makes them cold and just slightly icy--adding to the enjoyment of eating them on a warm afternoon or evening. They could not be easier to make and can be prepared ahead of time, making them perfect for a party. The honeydew was excellent and I think cantaloupe or watermelon would also be wonderful. I will definitely be making plenty of these in the future.

What's your favorite food on a stick?

Obligatory Disclosure Statement: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Quirk Books but I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thai-Flavored Mojito: A Crisp & Coconutty Simple Saturday Sipper

Lacking any desire or ability to plan this week, I found myself sitting on the lanai in deep contemplation about what to make for this week's Simple Saturday Sipper. Looking to my herbs for inspiration, I noticed that the Thai basil needed some harvesting and the mint could use a little snipping too. Since I had purchased several little local limes that needed to be used, it quickly became apparent that a Thai-Flavored Mojito was the way to go.

I just mixed a little bit of everything in my fridge and bar together--the herbs, coconut water, limes, ginger syrup, coconut rum and a little soda water and of course, ice. ;-)

Thai-Flavored Mojito
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Recipe for 1 cocktail)

5-6 Thai basil leaves
5-6 mint leaves
3 lime wedges
1 Tbsp agave syrup
1 Tbsp ginger syrup
2 oz freshly-squeezed lime juice
3 oz coconut rum (or rum of choice)
3 oz coconut water
3 oz tonic water

In the bottom of a tall glass, combine the mint, Thai basil, lime wedges and agave and muddle until mixed together and fragrant. Add ginger syrup, lime juice, coconut rum, coconut water and ice, then top off with the soda water. Stir gently to combine ingredients. Garnish with a lime slice and a couple of extra herbs. Enjoy! (Preferably outside on a warm evening.)

Notes/Results: Ahhh... perfectly refreshing, tangy and good. The Thai basil and mint combine nicely with the coconut, ginger and lime. I used agave syrup which gave it a touch of sweetness, but it is more tangy than sweet. You could do this without the coconut rum and coconut water, but it adds a nice touch. I will make these again.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mango-Ginger Mojito: A Tasty & Tropical Simple Saturday Sipper

Local mangoes were on sale and I was feeling like a mojito was in order to cap a busy week, so I tossed together this fruity version adding mango and ginger to the normal lime and mint combination. These Mango-Ginger Mojitos are an easy and refreshing cocktail and are a tasty and tropical Simple Saturday Sipper.

Mango-Ginger Mojito
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Recipe for 2 drinks, can easily be increased)

1 lime, quartered
10-12 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons ginger syrup
4 ounces mango flavored rum
4 ounces mango puree
6 ounces club soda
extra lime slices and mango chunks for garnish

In two tall glasses, divide the lime quarters and mint leaves and muddle together with ginger syrup (1 Tbsp per glass).

Add mango puree and rum to ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour liquid into glasses over the muddled mint and lime and top with club soda. Add additional ice if desired. Stir well. Garnish with lime slices and add mango chunks if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes/Results: Delicious--cooling and lightly sweet with a little kick of spice from the ginger. To make the mango puree, I just blended fresh mango chunks until smooth. I used a pre-made ginger syrup but you can easily make one by simmering slices of ginger and the sweetener of your choice for 20 minutes, then straining out the ginger and cooling the syrup. This is a great tropical cocktail for a warm afternoon of evening. I will make these again.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cucumber-Lime-Mint (& Rum) Ice Pops: A Frozen Cocktail and Simple Saturday Sipper

This week my Simple Saturday Sipper is a bit more solid than the usual drink I feature. These Cucumber-Lime-Mint (& Rum) Ice Pops are a fun way to enjoy a delicious cocktail. They are from my new cookbook, "Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats" by Shelly Kaldunski, from the wonderful Kim at Stirring the Pot. I made and enjoyed the Mexican Chocolate Pops earlier in the week and this recipe also caught my eye. My first thought after reading the recipe title "Cucumber-Lime-Mint" pops, was that it sounded like the base for a great mojito. Then I got down to the bottom of the recipe where it said you could make these into a frozen cocktail by adding vodka or gin and knew I was in business. In keeping with the mojito theme, I decided on rum as my alcohol of choice. Although you can't sip these--they are simple and refreshing.

Kaldunski says, "The cool and refreshing combination of cucumber, lime, and mint will surprise and delight all ice pop lovers. A perfect way to beat the heat in the summer, these ice pops are elegant enough to impress and far too delicious to resist."

Cucumber-Lime-Mint (& Rum) Ice Pops
"Ice Pops" by Shelly Kaldunski
(Makes 8-10 Ice Pops)

1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) sugar (I used 1/4 cup agave nectar)
1 English cucumber, cut crosswise into thin slices
1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup (2 oz/ 7 g) fresh mint leaves
1 tsp finely grated lime zest

(I added 1/4 cup rum--see "Pop Swap" notes below)

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, half of the cucumber slices (about 20), the lime juice, and the mint leaves. Pour in 1 3/4 cups (14 fl oz / 430 ml) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Strain the cucumber mixture into a 4-cup (32 fl oz/1-l) measure with a pour spout. Add the lime zest and stir to combine.

If using conventional ice pop molds. divide the cucumber mixture among the molds. Then, divide the remaining cucumber slices among the molds, using a stick to push the slices down into the molds. Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. If using sticks, insert them into the molds when the pops are partially frozen, after about 1 hour, then freeze until solid, at least 3 more hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions to fill the molds, adding the cucumber slices as above, and freeze the pops.

Pop Swap: To turn this pop into a frozen cocktail, add 1/4 cup (2 fl oz / 60 ml) vodka or gin to the strained cucumber mixture. Increase the freezing time to 5 hours.

Notes/Results: Like a mojito on a stick--with cucumber of course! This is a great, refreshing combination of flavors. I was surprised and pleased with how well the cucumber flavor comes out--in fact none of the flavors overpower each other--they just work well together. Rather than using the 1/2 cup sugar, I substituted 1/4 cup of agave nectar instead. Of course if you want to give these to the kiddies or don't want the alcohol, they would be perfectly delicious without it too. These pops are really good and perfect warm weather party fare. I will be making them again, and probably often throughout the season.

Happy Saturday!