Are you getting legit fall weather where you live yet? In Scotland, summer is a distant memory, and it’s been chilly and damp for weeks now, but I know other parts of the world are just now seeing those delightfully crisp autumn days. October is up there as my favorite time of year. The autumn leaves are in full show, and you still get some sunny, albeit cold, days where you can get outside and feel alive. They don’t have apple picking or pumpkin patches or hay rides here in Scotland, but at least there’s still boots and sweaters and all things toffee.
Today I’ve made you a cocktail that is the perfect transition from summer to fall. Mojitos bring to mind steamy beach vacations, short skirts, and salsa music. But this version has some beautiful fall flavors that are perfect to sip in front of the fire after a day of crunching through leaves. Okay, maybe you can’t pick the mint from your garden, but you can definitely make this happen.
This Vanilla Ginger Mojito is one of the best cocktails I’ve made in a long time. I splurged on a whole vanilla bean to make the syrup, and it was totally worth it. This cocktail is so beautifully fragrant, I wish it was a perfume. I also made that vanilla bean do double duty. The recipe calls for vanilla rum, but that wasn’t available at my grocery store, so I just popped the vanilla bean into my bottle of white rum and presto, vanilla rum.
This recipe is two stage and involves several fresh ingredients, but it’s in no way complicated to make. And I assure you it is an absolute pleasure to drink. It’s all for the best that this recipe only makes two cocktails because you could easily drink a bucket of these.
Cheers to autumn, friends. Make yourself a Vanilla Ginger Mojito and enjoy these awesome days.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced in half with seeds scraped out
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
- 2/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- 4 ounces vanilla rum
- 2 ounces soda water
- 2 ounces ginger ale
- 2 ounces lime juice
- Lime wedges for garnish, optional
- Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Stir together the water and sugar, then add the scraped out beans from your vanilla bean, along with the whole bean, the vanilla extract, and the piece of ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, and reduce the heat to simmer for about two minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for about fifteen minutes to steep. Remove the vanilla bean and ginger.
- Add about a third of a cup of fresh mint leaves to two glasses. Add two ounces of vanilla rum to each glass and muddle the mint in the bottom of the glass by giving it a good smash with something blunt. I use the handle end of a butter knife.
- Fill each glass with plenty of ice, then divide the remaining ingredients between your two glasses.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime and some additional mint. Give it a good stir before drinking.