I’ll admit, I was 100% inspired by the watermelon version of the mojito I had sampled recently at what is surely one of Ann Arbor’s best restaurants, when I decided that we needed these refreshing minty drinks at our upcoming book club. There’s always plenty of wine (duh) but sometimes a special beverage is in order, especially since it had been over two months since our last meeting (summer gets so busy).
The book was adored by some and misunderstood by others. We have a tradition of rating our books on a scale of 1 to 10: this particular Pulitzer Prize winner netted a 7.4 for us. Oh well. We’ve read better and we’ve read worse. That’s not the point. The point is to get together, enjoy some delicious food–in this case, a duo of salads, Roasted Chicken Niçoise and Caprese, spinach dip, cheesy olive Triscuit snacks, couscous and Barb’s delectable dessert (I’ll get back to that tout de suite)–catch up on each other’s lives, maybe talk about the book some and take comfort in a perfect summer afternoon.
The mojito, while being Cuban in origin, is perfect for any afternoon summer get together just about anywhere. I used this classic version because it seemed to be easy enough to serve 8. Some versions use simple syrup, but this one used straight sugar shaken with lime and rum. I simply added blueberries and wished that I had muddled them before the photo, rather than after with my straw. It was very pretty in its “muddled” state. So much so that I decided to cheat (!) and muddle some blueberries with water and mint just for the photo (pardon!). I have to say, though, that water with a bit of mint and blueberries is also a refreshing beverage, of the non-alcoholic variety of course, if that’s what you require or desire.
And while we’re on the subject of book club (aren’t we?), we all think our book club is absolutely magique. We’ve been meeting for over 10 years, we have pretty much the same members we had when we started, except for a one or two who have moved, one who comes from Cleveland (it’s THAT magique again!), and a brand new member, and we do something that (we hear) a lot of other book clubs don’t do: we all read every book (while this point may seem obvious, we’ve met so many whose book clubs fell apart because people didn’t read the book!)
We’ve also met a couple of our favorite authors, Philippa Gregory and Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
Another magical moment, seeing our latest pick on display behind the register at Shakespeare and Company. I’m used to this magic now. I simply shrugged and thought “of course”.
There’s certainement a lot more magic, but I’ll wax on about that further in upcoming posts, I’m sure. Here are the mojitos you’ve been so patiently waiting for.
Makes 1 mojito
In a cocktail shaker add
- the juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 shot rum (about 1.5 ounces)
In a tall glass add
- eight or so blueberries
- eight or so mint leaves, torn
After shaking the rum and lime, pour it over the mint and blueberries. Top off and garnish with…
- club soda
- a slice of lime
- a sprig of mint
Serve with a straw. If you are serving these to a group, it might be easy to skip the shaker step and just add all the ingredients to glasses and stir. And don’t be like me, muddle your blueberries first with the end of a wooden spoon or, if you have one, a muddler. The straws serve the purpose of continued muddling, mixing of the desired rum/club soda ratio and keeping too many mint sprigs out of one’s mouth.
I don’t think I’m quite done with the mojito this summer. I’m thinking a peachy-ginger version might be in order for our next meeting (a mere 3 weeks away!).
And speaking of peaches, I almost forgot Barb’s dessert. She used the Pioneer Woman’s Apple Dumpling recipe, substituting peaches for the apples and ginger ale for the Mountain Dew (don’t ask me…I only ate it).
If that wasn’t heaven on a plate, I don’t know what is.