A couple of weeks ago I Started a new series on Batched cocktails.
To remind you what a batched cocktail is—making them by the pitcher or the gallon —means that when you're hosting, you don't have to also be filling shakers and knocking over the bitters, rattling ice and accidentally squirting yourself in the eye with lemon juice. The drinks are made. Dinner will come later. Just pour and join your guests.
If you like the flavor combination of a classic mojito—white rum, lime juice, sparkling water, sugar, and mint—try this variation that swaps your favorite white wine for the rum, and uses Italian sparkling lemonade to add fizz and sweetness.
As for the white wine, virtually any white wine will work well, however, the serious citrus of sauvignon blanc, the outstanding aromatics of riesling or the flexible flavor profiles of pinot grigio deserve special consideration.
A whole cup of mint might sound like a lot, but mint is a signature ingredient in this cocktail. The mint needs to be fresh and fragrant. Of course you can make it any time but it’s ideal in the summer when it is usually the easiest to get your hands on a bunch of really fresh mint. Maybe you even grow mint yourself in a window box or in a container, or you have an abundance of mint in your garden and look for ways to use it.
Caribbean mojito with white wine is a great drink for a party, because it’s so easy to make. It delivers maximum flavor with minimum fuss.
Because even the freshest mint leaves turn brown quickly after chopping and adding them to the drink, hold off on the mint until the very last minute before serving the mojito. What you certainly can do ahead of time is wash and dry the mint sprigs and pluck off the leaves so they are ready to be chopped. If you prep them several hours ahead, keep them in the fridge so they stay fresh longer.
The only other thing to do ahead of time is to chill the white wine and the sparkling lemonade well so you start off with them ice-cold.
Batch made White Wine Mojito
- 1 (750-milliliter) bottle white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, riesling, or pinot grigio
- 2 cups Italian sparkling lemonade (recipe below)
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 cup fresh mint
- Sugar, to taste, depending on the sweetness of the lemonade
- 1 lime, for garnish
Sparkling Italian Lemonade
- 1 bunch fresh basil , washed and stemmed
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups cold sparkling water
Instructions To make the syrup
Combine the basil, 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Simmer and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool and strain. Set aside or store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Mix the lemon juice, the basil syrup and sparkling water together in a pitcher. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Instructions To make cocktail
Chill the white wine and Italian sparkling lemonade. Once well-chilled, mix the wine and sparkling lemonade in a large pitcher. Juice 2 limes and add to the wine and lemonade. Mince 3/4 cups of fresh mint and add to the pitcher (add mint right before serving, otherwise the leaves begin to brown). Thinly slice the remaining lime to garnish glass rims and add a sprig of mint leaves to liven things up even more. Serve over ice.
As always I am open to hear your take and your input. You can reach me at [email protected]