Nothing helps you cool off during the hottest summer month like a refreshing adult beverage. When it comes to summery cocktails, I’m a huge fan of the mojito — a delightfully effervescent mint, lime and rum-based cocktail.The classic mojito recipe makes a great base for variations. For fun and flavorful twists, I love substituting the lime with other citruses, infusing the simple syrup with spices, herbs and fruit, and replacing the soda water with beer. The combinations are seemingly endless!
The Belgian Witbier—a light, fruity and slightly spicy style of beer brewed with wheat and flavored with coriander and orange peel—inspired this quirky twist on the classic mojito. In lieu of the traditional lime juice, this recipe calls for hand-squeezed orange juice, which compliments the orange flavors in the beer. Homemade ginger syrup adds a zesty kick that plays nicely with the spices in the beer.
1 ½ oz. dark rum*
½ oz. homemade ginger syrup (recipe below)
1 oz. orange juice**
4 ½ -5 oz. Belgian Witbier, like St. Cloud Belgian Wit
5 leaves of fresh mint, plus more for garnish
*I use dark rum for added flavor, but silver rum will also work
**Hand-squeezed orange juice is by far the best option
Gently muddle the mint with the ginger syrup. Add rum and orange juice. Shake vigorously. Fill a Collins glass with ice. Strain mixture over ice into and top off with beer. Garnish with a mint sprig and orange wedge.
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 ½ cups water
2 oz. raw ginger, sliced into thin coins
Combine the ginger, sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Lower heat slightly and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the syrup smells very gingery. Strain out the ginger, let syrup cool and refrigerate when not in use. For spicier syrup, use more raw ginger.
What refreshing twists on traditional brews do you like to make in the dog days of summer? Share your recipes below.