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Rosemary Mojitos are a perfect crisp cocktail for an al fresco happy hour.
Happy hour at a distance, whether it’s bring-your-own-chair in someone’s front yard or Brady Bunch-style tiles on Zoom, has become our new social outlet. No more getting together for lunch or dinner, no more meeting at the coffee shop. But the new, pared-down happy hour might even be more enjoyable. Who knew that getting together, separated by six feet, could be so delightful? With the weather being so pretty and schedules loosening up, a small outdoor happy hour is a relaxing antidote to fighting traffic, meeting in crowded spaces and juggling minute-by-minute agendas. Isn’t it nice?
We were looking for a fun, light cocktail for such a happy hour and came upon the Rosemary Mojito on Epicurious. Their recipe, reprinted from the 2018 book Winter Drinks by the Editors of PUNCH, calls for blackstrap rum to make, as the book’s name implies, a wintry drink. But we had rosemary growing, and the cocktail sounded bright and happy, so we decided to make a spring version using white rum. It was delicious: crisp and springy, the perfect thing to take outside after a long day working, teaching, or doing whatever it is you’re doing at home.
To up the cocktails vibe, we made a bowl of Truffle Parmesan Popcorn. We left out the parmesan to lighten it up a bit, which did nothing to diminish our love for this popcorn. Snacking on Truffle Popcorn, drinking a Rosemary Mojito, it almost felt like a quarantine afternoon vacation.
After all of this is over and we are gathering in groups again, we might need to think about keeping this outdoors drinks-at-dusk thing going.
adapted from Winter Drinks by the editors of PUNCH
1 cup sugar
3 large sprigs rosemary
¾ ounce rosemary simple syrup
2 ounces white rum
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Place sugar, 2 sprigs of rosemary and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let the syrup sit for 1 hour. Remove the rosemary sprigs and store the syrup in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Combine the rosemary simple syrup, rum and lime juice in a shaker. Add ice, shake and strain into a glass over ice. Top with soda and garnish with a rosemary sprig and wedge of lime.