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mojito time

Recipe: mojitos

I thought we had escaped this year. We didn’t have a single hummingbird crash and burn on our deck (that we knew of) this spring. The frequency of accidents goes way up in May/June, but this year was accident-free… Then this week, we had 2 hummingbirds brain themselves on our windows within a 24 hour span. I hate to say this, but I am now rather practiced at reviving little birds – especially the hummingbirds. Yesterday’s hummingbird was the tiniest and worst off to date. I honestly didn’t think he’d make it.

not feeling so good

This little guy didn’t show many of the signs the other hummingbirds exhibit as they begin to recover. Usually they open their eyes after a little bit, start to open their beaks and taste the air with their tongues, sort their wings, look around. This guy just breathed rapidly with eyes shut and feathers in disarray for an hour. I mixed some sugar water (ratio: 1 part sugar to 4 parts water – and for the love of all that is good and sensible, DON’T feed them Splenda or any other fake sugar – hummingbirds need the real deal!) and held it up so his beak would dip into it. Ten minutes went by and nothing. Then I saw the feathers on his throat vibrate and noticed he was drinking! A few minutes after that he opened his eyes and watched me as he drank. Without any warning, he slowly levitated above the deck and zipped off to a nearby tree where he flitted from one branch to another until he flew away. Kinda made my heart fly too.

Now it is full steam ahead! Phases 2 and 3 of the upgrade will be complete this week. If I weren’t so busy, I’d be giddy.

i named them butter and sugar

huge ass L-plate

When last I hosted a stitch-n-bitch, Kitt offered to bring up mojito fixins. I had my first mojito just a few months ago and I’m not much of a boozer, but it sounds like the perfect summer cocktail to enjoy with friends, doesn’t it? Sure! Kitt’s mojitos were a total hit. I was so distracted hostessing that I completely forgot to actually try one. So when we had friends over this week, I hit Kitt up for her awesome recipe, which she ever so sweetly emailed to me.

basic greens: mint and lime

As you can probably guess, fresh is best. Use fresh mint, use fresh squozen lime juice. I’ve seen some mojito recipes that call for adding sugar, but I’m not a fan of grainy sugar in my drinks. Kitt’s recipe uses simple syrup which is easy to whip up ahead of time. It’s just a one to one ratio of sugar to water (8 oz. sugar to 8 oz. water by weight). While the syrup is hot, dump a few sprigs of mint in to infuse for a few minutes, then remove and let everything cool.

steep the mint

The cocktail is really to taste, so the measurements are merely guidelines. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the glass. I use a juicer which does a great job of getting the most out of citrus, so if you have a reamer, you may want to use the whole lime. Pour in some simple syrup and toss a bunch of mint leaves into a glass. Then muddle.

tart, green, wonderful


What is muddling and what is a muddler? The point of muddling is to bruise the mint and get that flavor mixed in with the liquids. I don’t have an official muddler. I don’t even know what that instrument looks like, but I was told that my Chinese rolling pin (the one I use to roll potsticker wrappers and scallion pancakes) was a good muddler. Add rum to your liking and then top with ice and soda water.

fizzy, refreshing

Give the drink a little stir and prop a lime wedge (technically a wedge is 1/6th of a whole lime – a bunch of dorks including myself looked this up) on the glass. Fantastic!

so nice to kick back with one of these

Kitt’s Mojito
[print recipe]
courtesy of Kitt

1/2 lime, juice of to taste
2 oz. (1/4 cup) minty simple syrup, to taste
bunch of mint leaves
1-2 oz. white rum, to taste
club soda or sparkling water
lime wedge, for garnish

minty simple syrup
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. water
2 sprigs of fresh mint

Minty simple syrup: Make ahead of time. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and let boil for a few minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the mint. Let steep for a few minutes (or until the syrup is minty enough for you). Remove the mint and let the syrup cool (can be stored in a glass jar, sealed, and refrigerated until ready to use).

In a 12-ounce glass, combine lime juice, minty simple syrup, and a bunch of mint leaves. Muddle the leaves so they are bruised (not necessary to shred them). Fill the glass with ice and pour in rum (to taste). Top the rest of the glass with club soda or sparkling water and garnish with a lime wedge. Makes 1 mojito.

30 nibbles at “mojito time”

  1. Crystal says:

    One of the few cocktails my husband and I have liked, but try it with guarapo (cane juice, generally with Spanish sodas in the grocery store) instead of simple syrup! :)

  2. Lori @ RecipeGirl says:

    Ah, you’re talkin’ my language! I usually do the fancy thing and make them all watermelony or something, but I always forget how good the classic mojito is. Perfect for Labor Day weekend, I must say!

  3. Kristina says:

    I LOVE that you rescue hummingbirds. We have so many of them and I just ADORE watching them (we have 2 feeders). That is such a great photo of the little guy.
    Oh yeah, thanks for the mojito recipe too. ;-)

  4. charlane says:

    one of my very favorite cocktails’

    fly little hummer – fly!

  5. Mark Perry says:

    Thanks Jennifer. I am leaving work and going to the grocery store!

  6. Pat says:

    Yay for the hummingbird save! Yay for mojitos! Love them *both* in the summertime…or fall…or even winter (such as it is) here in AZ!

  7. Tartelette says:

    One of my favorite cocktails in the summer! Thank you and Kitt!
    Good job on the hummingbird rescue! Reminds me of the 2 cardinals that kept bashing against our windows when we first moved in, and the windows of my car. Never saw them crash and they disappeared just like they came.

  8. Donna says:

    Wonderful save! Last month I saved a young robin that had become tangled in a net. There is something remarkable about holding a bird in the palm of your hand.

  9. Manisha says:

    I may have had one too many that day. They rock!

  10. sheauen says:

    oh those poor birds. i’m glad they have someone to care for them as they recover. i’m always afraid to handle birds because they’re so delicate.

  11. Michelle says:

    I’ve been trying to perfect this since we were at the beach over the summer. Thanks for all the tips! I know what we’re gonna be drinking this weekend. : )

  12. Mysticmeg says:

    Now for the BIG question. What flavor of mint did you use? Our area has about a million types. From the common spearmint and peppermint to rose flavors. A morter and pestle are good for crunching the mint leaves. But fresh fresh from the garden mint is necessary for a great drink.
    Love your site. Our hummingbirds come in the winter after living up North for the summer then Mexico for the winter months. Just like the movement of the snowbirds comming to Texas.

  13. Margie says:

    Okay, I have to admit this….I could care less about a recipe for a drinkie-poo, the fact that you revived that little baby was all I ever needed to know.


    My heart sings.

  14. Sasha says:

    I usually make mine with Sprite instead of club soda and it’s deliciousssss!

  15. Rosa says:

    A wonderful cocktail! Very refreshing!

    Ooohhh, that humingbird is so cute! always sad when they leave without warning…. Anyway, I’m glad it recovered!



  16. TheKitchenWitch says:

    1/6 of a lime=wedge, eh? Who knew? You crack me up!

  17. snacksgiving says:

    I love mojitos..yours look very refreshing. Perfect on a warm and sunny day! Glad that the cute little bird has recovered!

  18. MollyCookie says:

    This looks like a great Mojito recipe. Thanks for sharing it. Drinks with lime in them are always wonderful!

  19. Valérie says:

    Awww, poor little fella… Good thing you know how to take care of feathery crash victims! My mother-in-law has similar experience with reviving the birds her cat brings home (they’re usually still alive and well if she gets to them in time).

    Mojitos are just the quintessential summer drink to me. Best enjoy them while we still can!

  20. Aran says:

    and they are so adorable too… poor little thing… and now onto the extreme envy-producing mojito… refrescante!

  21. Kelley says:

    How did I make it all summer without a mojito? Oh, well – I usually don’t let go of summer until Halloween, anyway. Someone needs some rum!

  22. Mrs Ergül says:

    This is perfect for summer! Last summer when we were still renting, our landlady made us some. it was fab!! She used cubed sugar and mentioned something about pouring the Bacardi over the sugar to break it up!

  23. Kristin says:

    Way to go on the hummer. I’m glad to have some ideas of what to do if…please no…one ever hits our windows. Thank goodness it hasn’t happened yet! My kids & I would be running around like chickens with our heads cut off, before settling in to rescue mode.

  24. Lori says:

    I am glad he flew away. Good news.

    Speaking of mojitos- I need to get pickin some mint and pull out the rum. Let’s see my daughters first day of school is tomorrow. I usually don’t imbibe in the afternoon but I could see an exception here.

  25. peabody says:

    I’m so glad that the little bird made it. That would make me sad to see a little wounded birdie.

    Gorgeous mojitos!

  26. jenyu says:

    Wow! Can’t tell if folks are more jazzed about the hummingbird or the mojitos! :) Yay for both!!

    Mysticmeg – I used spearmint since that is what was at the store. I’ve already killed several herbs in pots this summer at my house *weep*. I do love more exotic mints though! :)

    Mrs. Ergul – that sounds good too! I think I like simple syrup b/c it’s so quick to mix and hand off to a guest :)

    Kristin – it really is nerve wracking each time, but I’m learning to click into rescue mode right away instead of freaking out – so I totally understand.

    Peabody – oh hon, I won’t tell you about the little ones that don’t make it :(

  27. Hettar7 says:

    little late on the bandwagon of replies, but …. have you thought about putting some sun catchers in the windows? They would look pretty and should discourage the hummers from braining themselves.

    and yea for mojitos! Though I do a non alchoholic one. Super invigorating.

  28. jenyu says:

    Hettar7 – I think we’re going to put up black cutouts of birds of prey and stick them on the outside of the windows next season – see if that works.

  29. Welcome to Rufflelicious » Celebrate good times, come on! says:

    […] you won’t find granules everywhere, but simple syrup would be the most effective. Jen from use real butter had an ingenuous idea which I borrowed, substituting a mint infused simple syrup for the […]

  30. Janet says:

    Thank you – I am craving a Mojito. Going to try this recipe right now!

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