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Classic Mojitos

DSC_0069In true (recent) college kid fashion, I had never actually had a mojito before. The bars I would frequent while in school didn’t really serve such fancy libations. It was more of a rum & coke, vodka cranberry, and buckets of beer kind of scene. Now that I am trying to expand my horizons a bit when it comes to the cocktails I kick back with; I thought it might be time to try some other common cocktails.

We were having A Flexible Life night in the office, and Jen was making Greek Yogurt Grilled Chicken, so I was looking for a cocktail that would pair well with dinner. Mojitos seemed to fit as well as anything else, so I made mojitos for the three of us while Jen made dinner.

Because I had never had a mojito before, I had to take my first attempt at mixing one to Jen for a taste test. She thought it hilarious that I didn’t know what it was supposed to taste like, but thought my version was spot on.

[She’s right…for someone who had never made a mojito before, she mixes a pretty fabulous one! – Jen]

Mojitos might be my new favorite drink, at least in the top 5. I hate super sweet or overly syrupy drinks; I always feel like I can feel the sugar coating my teeth as I drink it. The light sweetness paired with the slight kick of the lime and mint flavor was just right! It was perfectly refreshing and made a great cocktail to pair with our summer dinner festivities. 

Classic Mojitos
Super simple mojitos for any occasion!
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 1 drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 oz of white rum
  • Juice of one small to medium sized lime
  • 7-10 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1 c seltzer water
Instructions
  1. Muddle the mint leaves. If you don’t have an official mortar and pestle, you can just rip them up and smash them with a spoon. (Tip courtesy of Johnna!)
  2. Cut and juice one lime into the shaker.
  3. Add two ounces of rum to the shaker along with the powdered sugar* and muddled mint leaves.
  4. Shake well with ice.
  5. Add to a tall glass with the seltzer water.
  6. Stir and serve.
  7. Optional: garnish with mint leave and lime slice.

* I used powdered sugar because it dissolves better in liquid and I didn’t have to make any simple syrup.

Watermelon Margaritas

DSC_0202I have a pretty serious love affair with margaritas. I think they can go with just about any meal and occasion. In fact, my favorite restaurant (at least for the moment) is called El Patron in Uniontown, PA. Why is it my favorite restaurant? $2 margaritas, that’s why. These are not any wimpy, small margaritas either. They are a good size and nice and strong. El Patron’s food is also incredible (you have to order the chicken fajita nachos!), but let’s be honest; I drive the extra half hour for the cheap margaritas. That’s saying something when you consider the fact that I have an okay Mexican place just 5 minutes from my house.

Back to my real point. Now that I’m out of college, where an acceptable drink was juice or pop mixed with whatever liquor was on sale, I’m exploring the possibilities. Now that I have a real job and some actual income, I’ve been experimenting with alcoholic beverage recipes. I’m expanding my horizons, and while margaritas were part of my collegiate alcohol experience, I never came up with my own recipe. My specialty was adding tequila to a bucket of premixed margarita blend.

Jen used to cringe at the bottom shelf alcohol I left in her fridge after a weekend I had been there puppy sitting and told me more than once that it was worth investing in the eye level alcohols in the state store if you wanted a tasty drink. Starting with this recipe, I am expanding my repertoire. I may not cook and bake quite as often as Jen and Johnna, but I can aim to become our resident cocktail recipe expert…with a little inspiration from Pinterest of course. (Don’t forget to check out our new Pinterest board where I’m collecting Cocktail Recipes and Ideas.)

Jen bribed me to come into the office today by cooking up some yummy enchiladas (recipe coming soon) for lunch. When you have Mexican food, it is kind of a given that the Friday afternoon office cocktail needs to be a margarita. As Johnna would say, “It’s the rules.” Since it IS summertime and we were feeling festive, I decided our drink of choice would be watermelon margaritas. What sounds more like summer than Watermelon Margaritas?!

Johnna and I sampled these in the office. We both loved them. Our first batch didn’t have enough tequila in it, so I edited the recipe. They were the perfect pairing for a slow Friday in the office. Very refreshing and not too sweet. If you like sweet, just add more of the simple syrup to your drinks!

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*NOTE: I was using a small ninja blender, so some of the judgment call amounts will vary on how big a blender you use.

We did notice that the amount of time in the blender added a bit of watermelon foam to the top of our concoction. Johnna didn’t mind it, but I wasn’t a huge fan. (Fun fact: I’m a texture freak when it comes to all food and drink.)

I hope you guys like our little concoction. If you have any margarita recipes that you’re proud of, send them on over! I’m always up for something new, and if you have requests for something else leave it in the comments, and we will see what we can do about making it a post.

 

Watermelon Margaritas
A refreshing watermelon margarita!
Author:
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 2 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • Watermelon Simple Syrup:
  • 2 cups of watermelon
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 1 cup of water

  • Margarita:
  • 1 Watermelon
  • 3 oz Tequila
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • ¼ cup of watermelon simple syrup (You can really just add this to your personal taste.)
Instructions

  1. Simple Syrup:
    In a medium/small saucepan add one cup of water. Turn burner to medium.
  2. Add in 1 cup of sugar, stir until dissolved.
  3. Add in 2 cups of crushed watermelon.
  4. Simmer for about 10 minutes to combine flavors, stir occasionally.
  5. At this step, you can either strain out all of the watermelon pieces or blend them together with the sauce.
  6. Allow cooling and then store in the fridge until mixture has chilled.
    Margarita
  7. Cube up your watermelon leaving extra pieces for garnish if desired.
  8. Place 4 cups of watermelon in a bowl and put in the freezer
  9. Into a blender, add a splash of watermelon juice from your bowl, the juice of one lime, and 3 oz of tequila. Fill the rest of the space* with the frozen watermelon.
  10. Blend just until smooth. Pour out into your cup and you are ready to party!

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