Jar

A vodka mojito in a mason jar.

Around this time last year, Gail Parsons — a former Union reporter — introduced me to the vodka mojito.

These cocktails are traditionally made with rum, but Gail insisted they were better with vodka. I’m always up to try new foods and drinks, so I went with it. I’m glad I did. Served with homemade lime simple syrup, these drinks are not only pretty, they’re delicious and perfect to sip on a warm day.

The most recent iteration of this drink did not have mint leaves — I was fresh out and decided to experiment.

I can safely say they’re infinitely better with the mint, but still drinkable without.

Vodka Mojitos

1 shot vodka *

3 or 4 mint leaves

1 lime, cut into quarters

Lemon lime soda, to taste

Ice cubes

About 1/4 cup homemade lime simple syrup or to taste

Homemade Lime Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

The peels of 2 to 4 juiced limes

Instructions for lime simple syrup

Heat sugar, water, lime juice and lime peels together in a pot over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Strain simple syrup into a jar and allow to cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator. Keeps in the refrigerator for about one week.

Instructions for drink

To assemble your drink, place mint leaves and quartered limes in a glass and muddle, crushing the mint and lime with a mortar or the handle of a wooden spoon. When limes and mint leaves have been sufficiently muddled, add ice cubes, vodka, and syrup. Fill the rest of the glass with soda.

Drink and enjoy.

* These are alcoholic drinks, but it should be noted they don’t have to be. If you want your mojitos alcohol free or even child-friendly, feel free to just leave the vodka out and add more soda. It really doesn’t change the taste much.

LYDIA KAUTZ is the Managing Editor of the Junction City Union.

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