Mojitos have nothing on these “mini-jitos.” This non-alcoholic, kid-friendly drink is light, fruity, and refreshing. Plus, there’s muddling. Not enough foods get muddled, in our opinion.
In honor of spring, we made this “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). 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
A muddled (non-alcoholic) strawberry drink that's perfect for kids and grownups alike.
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 small bunch mint leaves
- 1 pint strawberries, pureed
- 3 limes, juiced
- additional crushed ice and water
- extra strawberries for muddling and garnish
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.
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.
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.
Have you muddled anything before? You basically need a thick wooden stick-like implement, as shown here by our kid. If you don’t happen to have a muddle, you can use any wooden handle, such as the handle of a wooden spoon.
The nice thing about “muddling” is that there’s no wrong way to do it, so if you want a way to keep little hands busy, let them muddle to their heart’s content.
This drink is best served right away with the crushed ice, but if you want to save it for a different time, hold off on adding the ice until you’re just ready to serve it.
Oh, and if you want to make a whole drink bar’s worth of kids’ drinks, check out our Holiday Mocktail Bar here.
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