We were strolling through our local farmer's market on a beautiful Sunday morning--Heather with her parasol and I with my handsome vest and pocket square that I purchased that very morning from a shrewd young haberdasher--when we saw a carton of blueberries and dared to dream. Four dollars a pint? Why that's nary more than a tuppence. "Will, don't you have a fancy muddler at home?" says my lovely wife. "Why yes I believe I do." We bought the blueberries and proceeded home to look for ways I could turn it into something delicious.
Scouring the internet for ideas, I arrived upon one for a Blueberry Ginger Mojito Pitchers recipe. It uses vodka instead of rum. On one hand, I like rum. It can be very refreshing as I have proven in my last few posts. On the other hand, I was beginning to run out of rum. I had a lot of vodka that was nice and cold from being in the freezer.
Blueberry Ginger Mojito Pitchers
adapted from foodnetwork.com
For the Ginger simple syrup:
-1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
-1 cup cold water
For the Mojito
-1 cup fresh blueberries
-1 lime, cut into wedges
-20-24 fresh mint leaves
-4 oz. ginger simple syrup
-4 oz. vodka
-5 oz. club soda
-Blueberries, for garnish
-Mint leaves, for garnish
For the ginger simple syrup:
Peel and grate the ginger and add it, together with the sugar and cold water, to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and cool in the refrigerator when done.
For the Mojito:
Add the blueberries, lime wedges and fresh mint leaves to the glass (or pitcher). Muddle with a wooden spoon so the blueberries are broken and the mint and lime release their juices and flavor. If assembling pitchers you can cover them at this stage and leave in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, add the simple syrup, vodka and top off with club soda. Give it a quick stir and then pour into glasses with ice cubes. Garnish with a handful of fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint.
The recipe outlined below is for 2 tall glasses, but you can use the ratio to make pitchers (depending on how big your pitcher is, double or quadruple the recipe).
Combine the blueberries, mint leaves and lime wedges in the pitcher and muddle it in there with the back of a wooden spoon (or muddler). When you are ready to serve add vodka, ginger simple syrup and club soda. Stir and pour into glasses with a couple of ice cubes. Garnish each glass with some fresh blueberries and a sprig of fresh mint.
I tried making the first batch in a pitcher. I thought it worked out really well, but just for kicks I thought I would try to make it in the glass a few days later. As I suspected, the version made in the glass was a little fizzier that the pitcher version, ostensibly because it hadn't been jostled as much.
The ginger was something I hadn't considered adding to the cocktail, but once I tried it, I wondered why it hadn't occurred to me. It added a subtle burn to the flavor profile and a complexity to the drink throughout. It was a little more work to make the ginger syrup, but it paid off.
This drink goes to show you that vodka does not need to be banished to the winter months. It can--and indeed should--be enjoyed throughout the calendar year.