Mojitos and summertime entertaining are a natural couple. Kick it up a notch and make a lemongrass simply syrup and add substitute fresh basil for the fresh mint. If possible, look for Thai basil, a sturdier leaf that works great in this drink.
makes one drink
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1/2 ounce lemongrass simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 lime (cut in half)
3-4 sprigs fresh basil
4-6 ounces club soda
Combine rum, simple syrup (see recipe below), and basil in a cocktail shaker, then squeeze lime juice into shaker and drop the lime quarters in. Using a muddler or a wooden spoon, gently crush all ingredients to release the flavors. Add ice and shake thoroughly, then strain into a glass of crushed ice. Top with club soda and garnish with basil.
Fresh Lemongrass Syrup
The lemongrass syrup can be prepared ahead and kept in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks. Lemongrass can be found in grocery stores by the fresh herb section.
1 long (approximately 6 inches) stalk fresh lemongrass, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with a lid partially covering for about 15 minutes. Let the lemongrass steep in the syrup while it cools for about an hour. Strain to remove the lemongrass. Keep in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.