In the Kitchen With Ricky: Fresh blueberry mojito a fun turn on a classic
July 5, 2022 Updated Thu., Jan. 12, 2023 at 10:13 p.m.
This blueberry mojito is a twist on a traditional Cuban cocktail that traces its roots back to the 1500s. (Ricky Webster/For The Spokesman-Review)
July 11 has a couple of national food days attached to it that got my attention for this week’s recipe. Not being able to choose between a couple of them, I went with doing a mashup of two.
Mojitos and blueberry muffins share the national day on that date, so this Monday I encourage you to make one of the two and celebrate. However, if you just can’t decide which to make, then follow the recipe below for a delicious and fresh blueberry mojito. Don’t worry, there’s no cakey muffin bits shaken into the cocktail, I chose to just use the just the blueberries from the muffins.
I went with the cocktail, as I often lean toward the baking and pastry recipes, and we haven’t explored the world of adult beverages much in this column. This is a fun and fresh way to make yourself or your guests a bright and happy drink during the warmer months. If kiddos are who you aim to please, then feel free to omit the rum in this recipe and swap it for a couple ounces of their favorite juice or lemonade (I think white grape juice is a great versatile juice). Whether making this drink the traditional way or making it alcohol-free, Mojitos make for a wonderfully refreshing summer cocktail.
Traditionally, a mojito consists of five ingredients (cane sugar or even more traditionally cane juice, mint, lime, rum and club soda), but I find blueberries a really welcomed addition. The combination of mint, lime and sugar with the florally and slightly sweet notes of blueberry not only balances out the flavors but creates a beautifully festive pink-colored cocktail. When in season, I highly recommend using huckleberries in place of the blueberries for an even more Inland Northwest feel. Swapping out other berries would work well also, and with cherry season just around the corner, I could see a couple pitted Bings muddled in for a familiar twist on a cherry limeade.
The mojito originated in Havana and was originally called El Draque. This traditional highball has a long history and dates to as early as the 1500s. It is said that it was a drink for the Cuban working class. During the early 1800s, there was a terrible cholera outbreak in Havana and people would consume a mojito a day, made with the local cane spirit, to prevent getting sick or to help with symptoms. In the mid-1800s, Bacardi was establishing its brand and it is said that the distiller substituted its rum for what would have traditionally been used prior, which was aguardiente, a crude, cane spirit that was the forerunner to rum. Bacardi then changed the name to mojito and promoted the cocktail in its earliest advertisements.
If you’re serving a crowd, feel free to make a large batch by multiplying it for however many cocktails you need. Keep it in a pitcher and chilled until ready to serve over ice. Hopefully, this is a fun change, and I look forward to having you all give it a try. Cheers!
Fresh Blueberry Mojito
8 blueberries, plus more for serving
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 6-inch mint spring, plus more for serving
2 ounces white rum
1 ounce sparkling water
Lime for garnish
Combine blueberries, lime juice, sugar and mint sprig in a cocktail shaker.
Use a muddler – or the back of a wooden spoon – to crush the berries, juice, sugar and mint until the sugar dissolves. Doing this causes the oil from the mint to be released and the blueberries to release their flavor, all while beginning to break down from the acid in the lime.
When the smell of mint is fragrant, add rum and a few pieces of ice to the mixture and shake until combined and frothy.
Pour into a tall ice-filled glass (traditionally a highball glass), or if you want to serve it straight up like a daquiri, strain directly into a chilled coupe cocktail glass.
Leave a small amount of room in the glass and add the sparkling water to top.
Serve with a garnish of mint, lime and a few extra blueberries.
Serve and enjoy!
Yield: Makes 1 drink.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.