We had a request for a signature cocktail in plum and green. Well, I could think of nothing prettier nor more delicious than a blackberry mojito. You can find blackberries and fresh mint in storesyear 'round. A mojito is typically made one or two at a time. If you are serving these in a large dispenser, you will have to strain the mixture so the berries and seeds do not clog the spigot. You don't have to strain the cocktail if you are serving in a pitcher.
12 large blackberries
12 mint leaves
4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 ounces light rum (you can substitute vodka if you like)
Lime wedge, mint, and blackberries for garnish
Chill two glasses. Put the mint and the berries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with the sugar. Use a wooden spoon to muddle (bruise) the mint and crush the berries. Add rum, lemon and lime juice. Fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. Put mint leaves in the bottom of the glass. Add ice. Strain the cocktail over the ice. Top with club soda for a little sparkle.
BLACKBERRY MOJITOS FOR A CROWD
Serves 50 (approx 4 ounce servings)
5-6 pints blackberries plus some for garnish
4 bunches mint leaves plus some for garnish
6 cups sugar
4 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
6-7 cups light rum (depending on how strong you want the drinks. This is based on 1 ounce per drink which is light. Add more if you like. You can also substitute vodka if you prefer)
2 bottles of chilled club soda (to taste)
Put the berries in the bottom of a container with the sugar. Use a wooden spoon to crush the fruit. Add the mint and gently muddle to release the essence of the mint. Add 4 cups of water and stir well to make sure the sugar is dissolved completely. Refrigerate and let sit for at least an hour. If you are using a dispenser with a spigot, you will need to strain off the mixture so the skin from the berries and the mint leaves do not clog the dispenser. Add the strained mixture to your dispenser. Add rum, lemon and lime juice. Fill with ice. Stir well. Top off with a bottle of club soda- to taste. Float mint leaves, lime wheels, or blackberries in the dispenser as garnish. Or thread berries onto a cocktail skewer and have those ready in glasses filled with ice. Then guests can help themselves to the beverage.
Martie's Tips: To make this easier, I usually just put the berries, sugar, and water in a large container. Then whir them together with my immersion blender. I strain off the seeds and any flesh remaining and am left with the juice.
Often, I will chill or even freeze my drinks for a party so I need less ice and the beverages are not as diluted. For this one, you can freeze lime juice or lemon juice into ice cubes and use that in lieu of adding the juice to the recipe.
You can also substitute mint simple syrup instead of using sugar to make this process easier for such a large batch.