Remember when Mojitos hit the vein of popular culture? Suddenly they were popping up at bars across the country - simultaneously gaining hatred and disdain by every bartender having to muddle mint as Mojito fever took over.
But they caught on for a reason. Simultaneously boozy and refreshing, they are kinda the perfect summer drink.
We recently played around with the standard recipe and make a couple swaps. Instead of mint, we used Thai basil. It's amazingly aromatic (like mint), but with a distinctive flavor different from typical basil. If you don't have any Thai basil growing in your herb garden (you should), you can easily find it at Asian markets.
The other swap was using Pyrat dark rum in place of white rum. To further enhance this richness, we also used demerara simple syrup instead of white simple syrup. The result is a richly-complex, yet still refreshing, cocktail.
highball or tumbler glass
2 oz Pyrat Rum
1 oz demerara simple syrup (equal parts demerara sugar and water)
1/2 lime, cut into smaller pieces
3 sprigs Thai basil, divided
Place the chunks of lime and two of the three sprigs of basil in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Using a muddler, press the limes and basil to squeeze out the juice and release aromatics from the lime peel and fresh basil. Add rum and demerara simple to the shaker and toss in a few cubes of ice. Give it a quick shake and transfer entire contents to your chilled glass. Rinse the shaker with a splash of club soda to get every drop of boozy goodness and pour that into your cocktail. Top with more club soda and garnish with remaining sprig of Thai basil.