It’s a mojito, but virgin…a “fauxito”…get it? Really it’s just minted limeade, but at anchor, on a late summer evening, some crew wanting to imbibe, others not so much…a mojito-like drink is pretty refreshing either way. So here we go…
Simple ingredients: two parts sugar to one water (here, a cup of sugar and half a cup of water), juice of 6-9 limes depending on size and juiciness (here, bad limes…I had to go with 9), a big bunch of fresh mint leaves, and club soda/tonic/rum/whatever mixer or booze combo you like in your minted lime drinks.
First step, combine the sugar and water and most of your mint (reserve a few leaves for garnish) in a saucepan over medium heat. You are simply heating to short of boiling, to dissolve the sugar. In the process, you will steep the flavor of the mint into the syrup. I grew up in a lemon orchard in southern California…water was expensive, so we drank glamorous minted lemonade out of a lovely stone urn. It stretched the water consumption. Idea here, though, is to scuttle the mint the way a bartender would in a mojito. Boiling will go a long way, but at the front end of this process when the sugar is still abrasively granular, mash it up!
As it heats it will magically “shrink”…leaving lovely mint oil in your syrup.
At this point you might be called up top to cast off lines and get sails up and out of the harbor. Go ahead and put everything on fiddles and gas off. No precise time or temp necessary here and residual heat may just do the job.
As it has here! This is what you are after. No granular sugar, mint leaves really depleted. You can strain the liquid to remove the leaves, or just lift/pull them out, letting the syrup drain off them back into the pan a bit. Discard the mint.
Dump the syrup into a pitcher and squeeze lime juice in on top. You will ultimately end up with about as much lime juice as syrup (and be able to see them layered in the pitcher) but specificity isn’t very important here.
When the mint syrup/lime concentrate is finished you can store it, or mix with about 8x as much soda or regular water, hitting it with a shot of rum for your drunken non-critical crew. Garnish with mint and lime slices if you’re going fancy. Regardless, it’s really refreshing for those watching the anchor line, or getting ready to storm the bar scene ashore!