Mama Caruso’s Mojitos with Basil and Pineapple Juice

Mama Caruso’s Mojitos with Basil and Pineapple Juice

Ingredients:
8 sweet basil leaves - 6 leaves for the drink and 2 for garnish
1 tablespoon sugar
1 lime - 1/2 cut into 4 wedges and 1/2 cut into slices
2 fluid ounces of pineapple juice
1 1/2 fluid ounces of Flor de Cana rum (or any other rum of your choosing), this can be left out for a perfect virgin mojito
1 cup of ice
1/2 cup of Sprite or any other lemon/lime soda pop/seltzer water

Directions:
In a beverage mixer/shaker place one of the lime slices on the bottom of the mixing container
Add the sugar and the basil for the drink on top of the lime slice
With a pestle, or muddler, or the end of a rolling pin lightly press on the basil leaves (4-6 presses) so that the oils are released and begin to mix with the lime and sugar
Add the pineapple juice and rum
Shake the mixture
Put the ice in a mason jar or highball glass
Pour the shaken mixture over the ice
Add the soda
Squeeze the lime wedges into the drink to taste
Garnish with the lime slices and remaining basil leaves

Servings: 1 serving

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

There is nothing like the smell of fresh basil in my kitchen to get my creative juices flowing and I really wanted to create something special to put in my mason jar for the regular Thursday night #Kitchenparty sponsored by @Bakespace. #KitchenParty is a great way to connect with foodies from all over the country right here in my kitchen and on Thursday nights, my kitchen is filled with laughter, conversation about food and…discussion about what everyone is drinking.

My usual report about a stout beer in a mason jar typically gets retweeted, and I do love a nice dark beer, but this week is different; I have basil, lots and lots of basil, so…let’s make a drink that includes this beautiful basil. Opening up the fridge I find the pineapple juice left over from my daughter’s graduation party, and on the counter, a bottle of Flor de Cana Rum that I recently brought back from Nicaragua and my drink is born. It is rare for me to have soda in the house (another leftover from the grad party) but I find a couple of bottles of Sprite, a few limes, a little sugar and I have everything I need to make Mama Caruso’s Mojitos.  I sure hope you enjoy them; it is always fun to create something that you can share with friends and that makes this drink perfect for #KitchenParty! From my table to yours - cheers!

Basil Mojito Tip - with all of the basil that is coming into season right now in our gardens - I have made a large batch of sugar and basil leaves, lightly crushed - not too much - and have frozen the basil sugar in snack sized baggies ready to go for anytime i want to be reminded of the harvest of the garden...looks like it is going to be a little bit of summer this winter in Minnesota!

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