Whether you’re looking to spice things up or just looking for a new twist on a classic cocktail, this Basil Mojito with Candied Jalapenos is a fun and easy recipe.
Thank you Rio Luna Organic Peppers for sponsoring this post. Rio Luna Organic Peppers are certified organic, non-GMO, fat free, cholesterol free, low calorie and Kosher. For flavorful and spicy recipe ideas follow Rio Luna on Facebook and Instagram.
Grab your shades and let’s imagine for a moment we are walking through the streets of Havana. There’s the bustle of people working, kids playing soccer barefoot and giggling on the corner square, laundry is hanging from windows above shops to dry. There’s a flower cart and fruit cart rolling down the street for purchase and a few cars, hoods popped, awaiting repairs, lined up in a rainbow of classic pastels along the curb.
There’s a corner bar, with records piled high and a box fan moving air through the tight space inviting you in for a signature cocktail….
My memories of Havana are wrapped in a cloak of inspiration from classic literature and island culture and the realism the crumbling old streets expose. It’s stunning and captivating. Just like my tourguides.
And in addition to having beautiful smiles to greet you with, the Cubans make a damn fine cocktail for a thirsty traveler.
If you are dreaming of celebrating the hot nights with a perfect Cuban libation, look no further than the mojito.
What’s in a Mojito
A classic Mojito is an uncomplicated cocktail with only 5 ingredients.
- Simple Syrup
- Lime Juice
It’s a perfect crisp and refreshing cocktail, especially if you happen to be sitting beachside on a sunny day.
Created in Cuba, the drink has roots back as far as the 16th century. It is said that somewhere between a failed invasion of Cuba and the sugarcane drink of the slave workers in the fields may have inspired the ingredients in the early stages of the cocktails birth and the rise of the rum industry in the 1800s brings it to its full glory.
Jump to modern day, rooftop sitting in Cuba is still the perfect place to enjoy a mojito in the humid air as the sun fades cotton candy pink. There’s nothing quite like it.
At home, when I am feeling a little Hemmingway and wanting to make things sweet and spicy, going through my memories of traveling through Cuba, I create my own classic Cuba cocktails.
Crafting a Simple Syrup
One of the key ingredients to a mojito is sugar. Using a simple syrup to sweeten cocktails is an age-old trick and a simple recipe to create and store at home for your own uses.
Simple syrups are a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. Simply heating the mix over low heat and dissolving the sugar is all it takes. You can dilute the ratio if desired, and I often do to a 2:1 water to sugar syrup if you are looking to cut the sweet a bit.
From there, you can infuse a variety of flavors. From herbs of any sort to vanilla bean pods or even candies, simple syrups concentrate the additional flavors and make them perfect for adding to cocktails or other sweets needing a bit of a bonus.
Basil Mojitos with Quick Candied Jalapenos
I love a balanced cocktail that doesn’t feel like fruit juice, but hits multiple flavor notes, sour, sweet and even the burn from a little spice. With that in mind, I immediately thought of canned jalapenos. And a crisp infusion.
To create this one, I used white coconut rum from the islands, infused the heat from the jalapenos into a simple syrup and added a pop of freshness with crisp basil leaves.
Inspired by a shipment of Rio Luna jalapeno peppers, I knew I wanted to candy them and infuse them for a spicy sweet cocktail. The peppers are organic, GMO-free, and packed to add a kick of spice to any meal! On top of it, Rio Luna is working with it’s produces to cultivate sustainability practices such as drip irrigation, recycling initiatives, and crop rotation. Knowing that there are canned products that I can stock up on for my recipes that also are working to help our foodways makes my job easier (and recipes tasty!)
Grab this coupon and give Rio Luna Organic Peppers at Krogers and Whole Foods.
Need more zesty cocktail inspiration? Check out these amazing cocktails:
- Apple Cider Margaritas
- Spiced Sriracha Dirty Shirly Cocktail
- Grilled Watermelon Margarita
- Grilled Peach-Ginger Bourbon Cocktail
If you’ve tried this Basil Mojito with Candied Jalapenos Cocktail Recipe or any other recipe on passthesushi.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivore, Twitter & Facebook.
For the Quick Candied Jalapeños
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 jar Rio Luna Nacho Sliced Jalapenos
For the Basil Mojito
- 5-10 Basil leaves
- Candied Jalapeno slices, for garnish
- 4 oz Rum
- 2 oz Jalapeno Infused Simple Syrup
- 2 oz Lime Juice
- 2 oz Soda
Make the Quick Candied Jalapeños
- Mix the brown sugar and water in a heavy pan over low heat.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Allow to cool 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Strain the jalapeno slices from their liquid. Let sit in a strainer for 15 minutes, shaking every now and then to remove any drained liquid.
- Toss the jalapenos in a bowl with just enough simple syrup to coat, 3 to 4 tablespoons.
- Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 2 hours, or until crisp, flipping once.
- Set aside to cool.
- Place back in the original jar with enough simple syrup to cover.
- Store in fridge until ready to use.
Make the Basil Mojito
- In 2 glasses, muddle a few basil leaves and slices of simple syrup infused jalapenos in the bottom of a tall highball glass.
- Add ice.
- Add the rum, jalapeno-infused simple syrup and lime juice.
- Stir to mix.
- Top the glass with soda water.
- Garnish with more jalapeno slices, sprigs of basil and a lime wedge.
- Serve cold and enjoy.
These are 'quick' candied jalapenos, not classic canned ones. They are great for a week stored in the fridge.
To make a Mocktail Basil Mojito with Candied Jalapenos, omit the rum. Add the simple syrup and soda with fresh basil and jalapeno slices over ice and stir to combine.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 47mg Sodium: 299mg Carbohydrates: 48g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 44g Protein: 12g