Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Watermelon Mojitos (Mojito de Sandia): Salud! and Happy July 4th!

My favorite warm weather cocktail is the mojito. Done right, it is refreshing, lightly tangy, slightly sweet, crisp and oh-so cooling. The key to a great mojito is in the muddling--too little muddling and you have a flavorless mint salad in a glass but the right amount of muddling releases all of the flavor of the ingredients and turns it into something special.

Although a simple, traditional lime-mint-rum mojito is my normal choice, it is fun to play with different flavors and ingredients such as this Watermelon Mojito or Mojito de Sandia from Rick Bayless. Add some blueberries and watermelon stars for garnish and you have the perfect cooling libation for a festive July 4th. 

Rick Bayless says, "If a standard-issue mojito weren't refreshing enough, one with muddled watermelon in the minty mix shoots it right off the charts. Hot summer weekend, sun beginning to set, backyard, friends. You get the picture. You need about 3 pounds of watermelon to yield the 4 cups of fruit you need for these drinks."
Watermelon Mojito (Mojito de Sandia)
From Fiesta at Rick's
(Makes 8 12-ounce drinks)

8 large sprigs of fresh mint
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon—3/4-inch cubes are perfect here
1/2  cup Simple Syrup
Ice cubes (you’ll need about 2 quarts)
2 cups white rum (I like D’Aristi rum from Yucatan)
1/2 cup lime juice
Sparkling water or club soda


Set out 8 tall 12-ounce glasses.  Into each glass strip off the leaves from a single sprig of mint—you’ll need about 10 leaves for each drink—and top with 1/2 cup watermelon cubes.  


Divide the Simple Syrup among the glasses (1 tablespoon - 1/2 ounce per glass).  Use a muddler (or the handle of a wooden spoon or a long-handle ice tea spoon—though neither is anywhere near as effective) to crush the mint and watermelon, releasing their flavor into the syrup—the more muddling, the fuller the flavors.   

Fill each glass with ice.  Measure in the rum (1/4 cup - 2 ounces per glass) and the lime juice (1 tablespoon - 1/2 ounce per glass).  Use a long-handle ice tea spoon to mix everything together.  Top off each glass with a little sparkling water or soda and you’re ready to serve.

Notes/Results: The subtle watermelon flavor partners well with the lime and mint to make this drink like summer in a glass. I used a little local Thai watermelon and reduced the recipe to make a couple of servings. Since my watermelon was nice and sweet and I like my drink on the tangy side, I just used a little dash of agave in the glass--when you muddle it with the fruit and mint, before the ice is added, it doesn't harden and clump up and mixes right in. My sister-in-law posted a photo of these "watermelon wands" by Weelicious on her Facebook pageand I thought they would make a great drink garnish. Fun, and the extra fruit added to the muddled watermelon makes this count as one serving towards your "5-a day"--therefore making this cocktail almost a health food. ;-) I will make these again.

Salud! It's the theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs--so go to the post to check out the delicious Rick Bayless beverage recipes that everyone tried this week. 

Have a safe, healthy and happy Independence Day!


  1. I always love flavored mojitos when I'm out and about and the watermelon does sound SO refreshing! The perfect post-long run treat given how high in potassium watermelon is?  I'm thinking yes. :P

  2. I love everything about this drink.  The wands are fabulous and I could totally down these all day (might not be smart, but I'm just thinking out loud).  Fantastic. Happy 4th, Deb!

  3. I crave watermelon when it is this hot outside.  This drink looks like the ultimate in refreshing.  Love the watermelon wands!

    Enjoy the holiday!!  We are right around 104-106F here in northern Ohio.  Way too hot!! 

  4. Ooooohhhh these look so good.  I've never had a watermelon mojito, but will have to remedy that soon.  Happy Fourth!

  5. kitchen flavoursJuly 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Oh yum! I would love to have a glass or two! Your watermelon wands looks fantastic! 
    It's a little late, but Happy 4th of July! Hope that you had a great day!

  6. Natashya Kitchen PuppiesJuly 6, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    So pretty! Those wands are brilliant. What a festive way to present your cocktail. I loved these too, we drank the whole batch between the 2 of us. Salud! 

  7. What a beautiful drink you made!!  Makes me want to celebrate!

  8. christinefreshlocalandbestJuly 9, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I've been looking for a fun and refreshing libation for this heat and this fits the bill! 

  9. Deb, this looks awesome! I've been planning a watermelon salsa, but hadn't considered a watermelon mojito - granted it's too cool in AK these days for anything but a hot toddy, but I'd make an exception for this. Adding this to my list of musts! (This is Erin, formerly of EKat's Kitchen, but now back as Salmon At Seven! Hope you'll swing by and enter my launch giveaway!) xoxo


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