The classic Mojito cocktail is one of the most popular cocktails ever. It's fresh, sour, sweet, and has just the right amount of booze in it. When looking for a refreshing summer cocktail, only very few others fit the brief like this Cuban classic. But for most of us, the traditional recipe doesn't work quite that well on cold winter evenings.
Luckily this Cranberry Mojito recipe can help you out. Because by adding cranberry to the mix, a regular Mojito quickly becomes a lot more wintery. And also, the looks alone make it a perfect drink to serve during Christmas. Read on to find out how you can make this delicious drink at home.
Different ways to make a Cranberry Mojito
There are multiple ways to incorporate fruity flavors into classic cocktail recipes. Just think of muddled fruits, purées, marmalades, syrups, and flavored spirits. But for making a Cranberry Mojito, only two of the above are common. In most cases, people either use packed cranberry juice or cranberry syrup.
And while sometimes adding juice can work well, I certainly prefer a fresher version. That includes homemade cranberry syrup, some muddled cranberries, and fresh whole cranberries used as a garnish.
How to make a cranberry syrup
Making a cranberry syrup at home is a great way to bring fresh and natural flavors to drinks or desserts. And making it is almost as easy as making a classic simple syrup.
All you need is fresh cranberries, sugar, and water. For our purpose, one cup of each is enough to produce a sufficient amount of syrup for quite some Cranberry Mojitos.
To make it, put all ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. And once the mix is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. You want to cook it for at least another 10 minutes or until the berries are just about to burst. Then take the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool down for a few minutes.
Now you need to strain the mixture with the help of a fine-mesh strainer. As the berries will block, you will need to squeeze them to release as much liquid as possible. Once you have strained the syrup, set it aside and let it cool to room temperature.
As soon as the syrup has room temperature, you can either use it to make some Cranberry Mojitos or bottle it and store it in the fridge until you need it. And when kept chilled, the syrup usually stays fresh for up to 3-4 weeks.
How to make a Cranberry Mojito
A proper Cranberry Mojito needs some attention to detail. Opt for a decent quality white Rum (Havana Club 3 years or Puerto Rican), lots of fresh mint leaves, delicious homemade cranberry syrup, and fresh cranberries.
First, let me say something about the mint leaves. You'll often read that you should muddle the mint at the beginning of making a classic Mojito. And theoretically, that's correct, as muddling the leaves will release oils that create this intense minty flavor. However, overdoing it will make your mint turn bitter. To prevent this from happening, better only slap the leaves before putting them into your cocktail shaker. The slapping and the shaking of the cocktail are enough to make your drink fragrant without risking getting this bitter taste.
Then, instead of muddling mint, I recommend muddling 5-6 fresh cranberries at the beginning. They will pronounce the cranberry taste of the drink and bring in additional freshness.
Finally, to garnish the cocktail, you can use some more fresh cranberries and some fresh and also slapped mint leaves. -There can't be enough mint in a Mojito.
Other Christmas cocktails
If you're looking for more festive cocktails to make this Christmas, I have a few more recommendations.
First, there is our Christmas Spiced Rum Sour. It is a delicious cocktail made with our Christmas syrup (a mulled wine-based syrup with tons of flavor). If you're more into Tequila, you could also try a White Christmas Margarita Punch made with coconut milk and cream. And if you want even more inspiration, have a look at our list of the best Christmas cocktails.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1 Muddler
- 2 oz Cuban white rum
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- 1 oz Cranberry syrup
- 2-4 oz Chilled club soda
- 5-6 Fresh cranberries - (plus more as garnish)
- 1 Sprig of mint
- 10-15 Fresh mint leaves - (plus more as garnish)
- Add the fresh cranberries into your cocktail shaker and muddle them. Then slap your mint leaves and put them in the shaker too.
- Add rum, lime juice, cranberry syrup, and plenty of ice into the shaker. Shake the drink until it's well-chilled.
- Fill a Highball glass with ice and strain the drink into the glass.
- Garnish with fresh cranberries, slapped mint leaves, and a sprig of mint.