Strawberry and Pineapple Jalapeño Mojitos

As I currently lack the financial means to fund a real (and I might add, much deserved) vacation, I’ll jump at nearly any opportunity to fabricate my very own faux getaway. So when my dear Aunt asked if I would be able to house-sit for her a few weekends ago in Ojai, I could barely contain my excitement. Her home was an integral part of my childhood—intertwined forever with endless fond memories of childhood summers’ spent there.

There are fruit trees, sprawling lawns, a gazebo, a large swimming pool, and the silence lent from a retreat sitting in the hillsides, several miles from the nearest town. It’s only about thirty minutes from my own home and yet, whenever I’m there I feel a million miles away. To encourage that feeling of otherworldly-ness—that away feeling—I elected to spend the weekend in my bathing suit, poolside, playing nothing but Cuban and Caribbean tunes and sipping colorful cocktails.

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The festive illusion I constructed was enough to ease the inner restlessness that surfaces whenever I feel…stuck. I feel uneasy and slightly caged when I’m in one place for too long—and I catch myself dreaming of far-off places. With the help of some creative beverages and lilting tunes, I was able to sustain the dream, existing in that liminal space between reality and the fleeting escape of my own design.

Strawberry and Pineapple Jalapeño Mojitos
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Ingredients
  1. For the Strawberry Jalapeño Mojitos
  2. Makes 3
  3. 1 lb. fresh strawberries, washed, tops cut off
  4. 1 small jalapeño
  5. 1 lime
  6. Fresh mint (you need about 10 leaves per drink)
  7. Ice cubes
  8. Club soda (I used strawberry flavored sparkling water)
  9. 6 oz. white rum, such as Bacardi
  10. Agave syrup, optional
  11. For the Pineapple Jalapeño Mojitos
  12. Makes 3
  13. Pineapple juice (I bought a 6-pack of 6 oz. cans)
  14. 1 small jalapeño, sliced (use a few slices for mild heat, or more depending on your preference)
  15. 1 lime
  16. Fresh mint (you need about 10 leaves per drink)
  17. Ice cubes
  18. Club soda (I used cucumber flavored sparkling water)
  19. 6 oz. white rum, such as Bacardi
  20. Agave syrup, optional
Instructions
  1. Make the Strawberry Mojitos
  2. In a blender, puree strawberries, jalapeno, and 1 Tbsp. agave syrup, or more depending on how sweet you want it.
  3. Place mint leaves and a Tbsp. of lime juice in 3 tall glasses. Use a muddler or a wooden spoon to crush the mint and release the oils.
  4. Place ice in each glass.
  5. Pour 2 oz of rum into each glass.
  6. Pour about a cup of the pureed strawberry mixture into each glass.
  7. Top off with sparkling water or club soda.
  8. Stir to combine and enjoy!
  9. Make the Pineapple Mojitos
  10. Combine 12 oz. of pineapple juice in the blender with jalapeño slices—I didn’t use agave this time because I felt the juice was sweet enough.
  11. Place mint leaves and a Tbsp. lime juice in 3 tall glasses. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to crush the mint and release the oils.
  12. Place ice in each glass.
  13. Pour 2 oz of rum into each glass.
  14. Pour pineapple jalapeño mixture in to glasses
  15. Top off with sparkling water or club soda.
  16. Stir to combine and enjoy!
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