the perfect summer drink

I love mojitos.  I haven't really tried that many other mixed drinks, but I'm convinced that it will be impossible to find another drink that is as yummy or refreshing for the summer months.  A little while ago I decided to give flavored mojitos a try after perfecting my regular mojito recipe, starting with my favorite berry: raspberries.  I've had raspberry mojitos before but they've all either been too artificial or not fresh and minty enough for my taste.  Here is the simple recipe I came up with to make perfect raspberry mojitos.

What you will need:
Raspberries-- I usually just use a whole bag or box of raspberries and save the sauce to use later if anything is left over at the end (I often use frozen ones for the sauce and throw in a few fresh ones at the end since fresh raspberries can be pretty pricey).
Simple Syrup (you can make your own by simmering equal parts sugar and water until sugar desolves)
White rum
Club soda

To make one mojito:
Before you do anything else you will want to make your simple syrup and raspberry sauce so they have time to cool down before you put them in your drink.  To make the raspberry sauce put your raspberries (save a few fresh ones for the end) in a saucepan and heat.  Stir and mash the raspberries for around 15 minutes, or until you have a juicy sauce.  I usually put this through a strainer to get out the seeds, but I've made them with the seeds before as well and its not really all that noticeable.  Once you're done with this put the sauce in the refrigerator to cool down.
To begin making your drink pour anywhere between 1 and 2 shots of rum into a medium sized class (I like 1.5 shots).  Next add a small bunch of mint.  I probably use around 10-15 leaves.  Use a muddler (such as this) or a spoon to crush the mint to release the flavor.  I usually take a minute or so to thoroughly muddle the mint so that the mint flavor is really noticeable.  Add in a half shot of simple syrup.  If the raspberries you are using are really sweet rather than tart or if the people you're serving prefer their drinks not too sweet start by adding around a quarter of a shot and add more at the end if necessary.  If you want to make your mojito virgin start with this step and muddle the mint into the simple syrup.  Next add the juice or half a lemon and half a lime.  Now add in somewhere between one and 1/2 shot of your raspberry sauce.  It really depends on the raspberries you have and the consistency of your sauce.  Add as much ice as you want and then fill your glass up with club soda.  Mix everything up.  At the end I like to take 3 or 4 fresh raspberries, break them up slightly and drop them on the top of the drink.  It's a nice little surprise to get a chunk of fresh raspberry, and it looks pretty.  You can also garnish with a slice of lime or a sprig of mint.  Enjoy your drink!

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