How to Make a Virgin Mojito

Two Methods:Muddling Mint for a MojitoMaking a Virgin Mojito

Treat yourself to the complex and refreshing blend of mint, citrus, and sugar with this drink that's guaranteed to cut through the summer heat. Even without the rum, this Cuban classic is full of flavor. Keep reading to learn how to make a traditional (minus the alcohol) version, or try a different take on the beverage that introduces new flavors with fruit juices.


Virgin Mojito

Servings: 1

  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar, fine if possible
  • 1-2 medium sized limes
  • 1/2 oz. (15 ml) simple syrup
  • Club soda, ginger ale, or lemon-lime soda
  • 4 oz. (120 ml) apple juice, pink grapefruit juice, or strawberry puree (optional)
  • Ice

Method 1
Muddling Mint for a Mojito

  1. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 1
    Find a muddling tool. Unless you are a bartender, you probably don't have a muddler lying around, but muddling the mint is an essential part of making a good mojito. If you don't have a muddler, you can improvise with a wooden spoon or even the end of a rolling pin.[1]
    • If you do have a muddler, make sure it is made of unfinished wood. Anything that has been varnished or lacquered will eventually wear down, and the finish will end up in your drinks.[2]
  2. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 2
    Place the mint in the bottom of a thick, sturdy glass that won't break. You can add the sugar as well, as the rough texture can actually help the muddling process.[3] Make sure the glass you are using isn't thin or delicate or it could break during the process.[4]
    • Make sure you remove the leaves from the stems, as these will also give the drink a bitter taste.[5]
    • Spearmint is the type of mint most often used in a mojito, but you can experiment with peppermint or pineapple mint for different flavors.[6]
  3. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 3
    Press the muddler gently onto the mint leaves and twist several times. You do not want to shred, crush, or mince the leaves, as this will release the chlorophyll contained in the veins of the leaf. Chlorophyll is very bitter and will make your virgin mojito taste quite unpleasant.[7]
  4. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 4
    Stop when you smell mint, or when the leaves begin to tear.[8]The leaves should remain whole, crumpled and maybe with a few tears. The purpose of muddling is to release the fragrant and tasty oils in the leaves, and roughing them up a bit will allow them to seep out and infuse your drink.[9]
    • Muddling the leaves with sugar will allow the oils to seep into the sugar, adding more depth to the drink.[10]
  5. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 5
    Crumple the leaves in your hands if you are absolutely opposed to muddling. This is better than chopping the mint, which would release the chlorophyll, and also leave little bits of mint floating around in your beverage. Getting a piece of mint caught in your throat might spoil the fun of drinking a mojito.

Method 2
Making a Virgin Mojito

  1. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 6
    Muddle the mint leaves, 1 teaspoon sugar, and simple syrup in a tall, sturdy glass. A short glass, like a highball glass, will make your drink look crowded. The mojito is meant to have lots of ice and liquid, since it's a summer cooler you're supposed to sip on and savor.[11] A small glass may throw off the proportions of the drink as well.
    • The simple syrup will make your drink sweet all the way through, as sugar won't dissolve completely in cold liquids. You can skip the simple syrup and just go with the granulated sugar, just be aware it might all sit at the bottom of your glass.[12]
    • Turbinado sugar has a slight molasses flavor some people really like, but the grains are too big to dissolve in a cold drink. If you want to use it, you'll have to grind it in a spice or coffee grinder first.
  2. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 7
    Juice one large or medium-sized lime to get 1 oz. of fresh lime juice. If you don't get a full ounce from one lime, add more by juicing the second lime. To make sure you get as much juice as possible, place the lime on the counter and roll it underneath the palm of your hand, pressing down slightly. This will soften the lime and make it easier to squeeze.[13]
    • Cut the lime in half and place one half in an open hinged hand-held lemon or lime squeezer. The flat part of the lime should be facing the round bottom of the inner cup. There should be little holes on the bottom of the cup for the juice to strain through.[14]
    • Hold the squeezer over a bowl or glass.
    • Close the squeezer, bringing the top cup down on the lime.
    • Squeeze the arms of the juicer together. As the top cup presses down on the lime, it will turn it inside-out and the juice the lime.[15]
  3. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 8
    Add the fresh lime juice to the glass with your mint and sweeteners. Let the ingredients sit for a few minutes so their flavors can intermingle and give it a little stir. If your lime juice is room-temperature, the sugar may begin to dissolve into the liquid.
    • If you want to deviate from the classic Mojito, now is the time! Try adding apple juice, pink grapefruit juice, lemonade, strawberry puree, or other fruit juices. You might come up with some really surprising and delicious flavor combinations![16]
  4. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 9
    Fill your glass with ice, if not to the top than at least 3/4 full. There's debate over whether to use crushed ice or ice cubes, so just use whatever you want. This is your drink, after all.
    • Crushed ice will cool your drink faster, but it also means it will melt faster.[17]
    • Make ice cubes with muddled leaves of mint frozen inside, so as the ice cubes melt, the mint flavor seeps into your drink.
  5. Image titled Make a Virgin Mojito Step 10
    Fill the glass the rest of the way with club soda. You have an opportunity to twist the recipe again and add ginger ale or lemon-lime soda instead of club soda. You'll get the same fizz but a slightly different flavor.[18]
    • Garnish your drink with a leftover sprig of mint or a lime wedge or wheel, or even a swizzle-stick of rock candy.[19]
    • If the Mojito is too tart, add the extra 1 teaspoon of sugar or more simple syrup and stir.

Things You'll Need

  • Muddler (or wooden spoon)
  • Tall glass (pint or Collins)

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Mocktails