On a warm, summer evening, a glass of Virgin Mojito — complete with the freshness of mint, lime and swirling ice cubes — is refreshingly welcome. Mocktails, or non-alcoholic spins on beverages containing spirits, are popular options for brunches or dinner parties when one wants to avoid consuming alcohol. Numerous non-alcoholic versions of cocktails abound and what has become one of the most iconic ‘virgin’ drinks across bar menus is undoubtedly the mojito, sans the white rum or vodka.
While mojito can be traced to its origins as a traditional Cuban punch, the mocktail, often known as the ‘nojito’ emerged swiftly as a non-alcoholic counterpart to the rum and mint cocktail popularised during the 16th and 17th century by privateers and pirates sailing on Caribbean waters. The story goes that the mojito was invented in Havana and was named ‘El Draque’ after the English privateer Sir Francis Drake who arrived on the Cuban shores when the island was under Spanish rule.
The Virgin Mojito could said to have been developed as contemporary innovations led to a growing popularity of mocktails, marked by a cultural shift towards consuming non-alcoholic beverages.
As with the Cuban cocktail, Virgin Mojito is associated with the relaxed vibe of an island party and can be sipped on at any summer barbecue or poolside gathering. It is also a splendid alternative to traditional lemonade or sherbet as generous quantities of mint sprigs and soda add a splash of freshness to the beverage.
An abundance of lime also goes into stirring the mocktail which imbues it with sharp, citrusy flavours that help to quench a rising thirst in warm and humid climes. A mix of lime and soda can also smoothen the digestive process and leave you feeling light, no matter the amount of spicy tacos and sliders you consume at a barbecue!
Lightly muddle the mint with the simple syrup in a highball glass.
Add the lime juice, and ice and give it a nice stir all together.
Splash in some soda and stir again.
Garnish it with a mint sprig and lime wedge.