Cucumber & Mint Mojito
Serves: makes 1 cocktail
These Cucumber & Mint Mojitos are my go-to summer cocktail. They're quick, refreshing, and have just the right amount of sweetness. Remember to drink responsibly! After one or two, I like to make these sans the booze for a tasty and refreshing (but non-alcoholic) treat.
  • 6-7 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2-3 thin slices english cucumber (aka, hothouse or seedless cucumber), plus more for garnish
  • ½ lime, cut into quarters
  • 2 oz. white rum
  • 1 oz. simple syrup*
  • ice
  • sparkling water or club soda
  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice, and, if you'd like, add a few leaves of mint and a slice or two of cucumber for garnish.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add the mint leaves, cucumber, and lime wedges, making sure the mint is on the bottom. Muddle well to release all of the juice from the lime.
  3. Add the rum and simple syrup to the shaker, and fill with ice. Slap on the lid, and shake vigorously for ten seconds or so.
  4. Strain the cocktail into the glass, and top off with sparkling water or club soda.
  5. Sip, and enjoy!
*to make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store syrup in the fridge for all your drink-sweetening needs.

Tips for an extra awesome mojito (or any cocktail, for that matter):
1. Always use fresh lime juice, not the bottled stuff. Fresh juice tastes better every time. I've taken to keeping a bag of lime wedges in my fridge for quick cocktails anytime.
2. When you muddle the mint and lime (and cucumber, in this recipe), always make sure the mint is on the bottom, this way it doesn't get beaten up too badly and become bitter.
3. If you aren't in the mood for cucumber, leave it out and use this recipe to make a killer classic mojito. Or...
4. Simple syrups are a great place to infuse flavors and mix up any drink you add them to. Try steeping herbs like rosemary or thyme in simple syrup (like this recipe, or this one), or use fruit juice instead of water. I'm not sure you can call it a mojito anymore, but I especially love using homemade grenadine (pomegranate syrup) in place of the regular simple syrup. It adds an extra oomph of flavor, and a pretty pink hue, too. You can find my recipe for grenadine right here.

Special thanks to my friend Tammy, who makes the best mojitos I've ever tasted, for sharing some of her tips with me. If you live in the Ann Arbor area and want to up your cocktail game, she hosts occasional cocktail classes throughout the year and you can check out her schedule here.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at