I had some friends coming over for dinner and wanted to serve mojitos. Unfortunately, the limes I bought had no juice in them – I reamed nine and barely got 1/3 cup of juice. Add that to the mint being shoved to the back of the fridge where it iced up and turned brown and it looked like my plan was foiled.
Then I remembered an adult slushy recipe that used mint simple syrup, a bit of lime juice, rum and ice. No muddling needed. I always keep a jar of mint simple syrup around (usually to add a sweet minty touch to iced tea but, also because there is no telling when you might have a mint julep emergency!).
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh mint, firmly packed
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, about 4 to 6 limes
Zest of at least 2 limes
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup mint simple syrup
4 to 8 cups crushed ice
Optional – Mint sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish
Mint simple syrup can be made up to a week ahead: In a saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear, stirring regularly. Pack the mint in a jar and pour the sugar water over it. Let steep for 30 minutes before removing the mint leaves. Allow to cool completely before putting it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
In a blender, crush the ice. Pour the mint simple syrup, lime juice, lime zest and rum into the blender and blend until slushy. Taste, adding more rum or simple syrup as desired. Spoon into glasses; garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime slice.