Charleston, SC is a wonderful city to visit. I have spent a lot of time in the area over the past four years, with all the MRAP work bustling down there. For those not familiar with the Southern U.S, it get’s pretty darn tootin’ hot and sticky. Oh my, the heat is unescapable! Trust me, I’ve spent hours in record breaking dry heat in the middle of the AZ desert and I spent my childhood in humid sub-tropical climates. I know hot weather. (And it knows me. Hello, migraines!) When I say Charleston gets hot and sticky, you bet it’s hot and sticky! A refreshing way to beat the heat is with an ice cold libation…like this Watermelon Mojito. Can you hear those ice cubes clinking together?
What a twist of “fate” this drink was. I had passed Toast on my way to meet everyone at the Mills House. As we sat in the hotel courtyard, one of our team mates declared that wherever we went, he needed a mojito. Apparently the hotel bar was out of mint leaves. I excitedly let everyone know that Toast, was advertising a Watermelon Mojito as one of their nightly specials. Definitely sealed the deal for those on the fence about joining this or that group for dinner, and off we went into the humid evening.
(inspired by the summer cocktail by Toast!)
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- 3/4 cups loosely packed mint leaves
- 1 cup of your favorite light rum, I only had apple on hand at the time
- 1 tbsp sugar (optional depending on natural sweetness of the watermelon you brought home)
- Splash of fresh lime juice (optional, same as above)
- Splash of soda water (I used sparkling mineral water)
- Ice cubes, enough to fill a cocktail shaker
- Place whole or roughly chopped mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and crush to release the flavor and fragrance of the herb.
- Add watermelon to cocktail shaker. Crush until the fruit is all mashed up in a nice watermelon mush (Lesson learned: make your life much, much easier and puree the watermelon in a blender!)
- Taste the watermelon and mint mixture. Depending on how sweet the fruit turned out naturally, you may or may not need to add sugar (not sweet enough) or a splash of lime juice (too sweet) to the cocktail shaker.
- Add the rum to the cocktail shaker
- Fill the remainder of the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Close the cocktail shaker and shake it until the exterior is chilled to the touch.
- Empty contents into two glasses
Now, if you chose not to follow the Lesson Learned tip, it’s time to get messy. Depending on how well you were able to mash the watermelon on your own, there is still a lot of fruit juice you need to get out.
- Place a mesh sieve or a cheese cloth over a small bowl.
- Pour the remaining contents of the cocktail shaker into sieve or cheese cloth and gently press/squeeze the watermelon mixture so that the fruit juices and rum end up in the bowl.
- Divide the bowl contents between the two glasses.