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Blood Orange Mojito

The mojito is a classic Cuban cocktail. In this twist on the original, lime and mint are accentuated with blood oranges, which are typically in season from late winter through mid-spring. This recipe can be multiplied to make a large batch.

To make simple syrup, in a measuring cup, stir together 1/4 cup superfine sugar in 1/4 cup hot water until dissolved. Let cool. This recipe makes 3 fl. oz. syrup and can be doubled or tripled as needed.

Ingredients:

  • Ice, as needed 
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish 
  • 4 fl. oz. simple syrup (see note above) 
  • 3 fl. oz. white rum 
  • 4 fl. oz. fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes) 
  • 24 fl. oz. sparkling water, or as needed 
  • 2 blood oranges, halved 

Directions:

Fill 4 highball glasses with ice. In a glass pitcher, combine the mint leaves and simple syrup. Using a muddler or pestle, gently muddle the mint leaves, being careful not to tear them. Stir in the rum and lime juice.

Fill the glasses about two-thirds full with the mixture, being sure to get a few mint leaves into each glass. Top the drinks with sparkling water, leaving a little room at the top, and gently stir. Using a reamer, squeeze an orange half over each drink. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig and serve. Makes 4 drinks.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).