Too bad kids don’t get to drink mojitos. They’re all light and fruity, and there’s usually something that’s green and flavorful floating in it too. Plus, there’s muddling. Not enough foods get muddled, in our opinion.
In honor of spring, we thought we’d make a kid-friendly, nonalcoholic mojito, which we’re calling a “mini-jito” (after rejecting other ideas such as “no-jitos” and “mo-wee-tos”). We’re inspired by the beautiful California strawberries we’re finding in markets now – they’re amazingly sweet and juicy – and the fresh green herbs that are popping up everywhere in our garden.
The best part about these mini-jitos is that the kids do most of the work (muddling, that is) and there’s no wrong way to do it. You can enjoy these mini-jitos poolside or at a garden party, or you can just have them whenever you feel like it and fantasize about being somewhere else.
Spring Strawberry Mini-jitos
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 small bunch mint leaves
1 pint strawberries, pureed
Juice of 3 limes
Crushed ice and additional water
Extra strawberries for muddling and garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Chop four mint leaves, add to the syrup mixture, and set aside to cool.
2. In a standard 60-ounce pitcher, combine the pureed strawberries, lime juice, and the sugar-mint syrup. Add enough crushed ice to the pitcher to make it about 3/4 full. Add water to fill the pitcher and continue stirring.
3. Select four to six tall glasses for serving (we used tall jam jars; if you have small kids you might want to use tall plastic cups). In each glass, place two strawberries and two mint leaves. “Muddle” the strawberries by coarsely mashing them with a muddler or a pestle. Pour the crushed ice mixture into each glass. Garnish with strawberries and mint leaves; serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.