Categories
Diodydd / Drinks

Simple sugar syrup

This one’s super easy, and essential for cocktail making. You can find sugar syrup at some shops, but it’s simple and cheaper to make your own… all you need is some brown or demerara sugar.

Add a cup of sugar and a cup of water to a saucepan.

Stir over a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. This shouldn’t take too long, just don’t let it boil.

Let cool and pour into a glass bottle. This keeps fine in the cupboard.

Categories
Diodydd / Drinks

Mojitos that turn your kitchen into a high-end bar.

With bars, restaurants and clubs shut for lockdown… and a long wait until they may re-open… home-drinking has become Wales’ game.

If you’re like me, you’re probably missing going out for a few pints with mates, afternoons in beer gardens or nights out in town. It’s no shocker that alcohol sales are up 291% in lockdown.

Keeping up with all the quizzes on Zoom call for a few cheeky drinks on the side. As does the weather we’ve had (until this week). With lots of us with less responsibilities than ever, there’s no reason why not to enjoy a drink in the sun. A global pandemic beacons it.

Most would opt for a beer, a sound choice. Or a glass of wine. Or even a gin. But if you want to push yourself, and it is worth it, then try this recipe to make your own mojitos.

So, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve turned my hand at making cocktails- with varying success.

There’s a big mint plant in our garden, so I’ve focused on mojitos.

Mojito

Most recipes I found online used sugar syrup, an ingredient I didn’t have and so I clumsily stirred in some brown sugar to the drink thinking this would do. I also didn’t have limes, but I guessed lemons would work. No soda water either – lemonade would surely do the same job. I succeeded in making a sweet-minty drink that wasn’t too impressive.

A couple of days later however, I tried again, this time with limes, soda water, and the key ingredient- sugar syrup.

It was great. Cool and refreshing, perfect for a hot afternoon.

I didn’t buy sugar syrup, not being something you’d expect at the local shop. But making your own is super easy. Add equal amounts of brown or demerara sugar and water to a pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved – done.

Ditching the googled recipe and adding a few twists of my own, I’ve adjusted the recipe with each attempt, seven or eight by now… and I think I’ve really honed the perfect mojito, or so I’ve been told by my family who are happy guinea-pigs. It’s easy and tastes like the real-deal, something you would expect to pay a tenner for at a posh and over-priced bar.

So here it is, and it really is worth making sugar syrup to use, even if you adjust the rest of this recipe to taste.

Makes 2.

You’ll need:

  • Ice
  • Half a cup of rum
  • Quarter cup of sugar syrup
  • A good handful of fresh mint (about 20 leaves would be ideal)
  • The juice of 1 lime and lime to garnish
  • Lemonade
  • Soda water

Method

Muddle the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker… if you haven’t got one, I used a clean jar with a tight lid. (A rolling pin does a good job muddling – the cocktail term for bashing the mint to release flavour.)

Add the rum, sugar syrup and lime juice. (I’ve been using Bacardi white rum which I think works best, I’ve tried using spiced rum which made the mojito much sweeter, so if you’ve got spiced rum I’d suggest using a bit less sugar syrup or swap the lemonade for more soda water at the end).

Seal the shaker/jar and shake.

Get out two glasses and fill both half way with ice.

Pour half the mixture in each.

Fill the rest of the glass with half soda water and half lemonade.

Finally, stir well to makes sure its all mixed and add a couple slices of lime to finish.

If you’ve tried out this recipe at home, let us know what you think in the comments below!