It’s been cold here in Boston. So cold that on a walk this morning, 21 degrees felt balmy. To warm up lately, I’ve been drinking more tea than usual. But since it’s Saturday, I say to hell with tea: let’s make a drink. A summer drink. A grapefruit, basil and ginger mojito.
I always find pleasure in complimenting alcohol with healthy mixers; I pretend that the supposed negative effects of alcohol are negated by the hydrating and nutritious elixir I pair it with. I’m not going to try to make a case for alcohol here; that’s a debate for another post. My philosophy is: if you do drink, do so occasionally, with good people and without poisonous mixers full of artificial sweeteners and colors. If you don’t drink, simply omit the alcohol; this recipe is very similar to one of Isabel’s favorite homemade teas, enjoyed cold in the summer and hot in the winter.
WHY IT’S HEALTHY // Grapefruits and limes are excellent sources of vitamin C, which can help prevent or reduce the severity of cold symptoms by supporting the immune system. Vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin, also aids in the formation and maintenance of collagen, which helps prevent aging (!). Vitamin C is excellent for the metabolism and stimulates adrenal function. Basil contains essential oils that have potent antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is also a source of vitamin A and magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health. Ginger root is a digestive stimulant and helps with blood circulation, producing a pleasant warming effect in the body – great for a winter drink. Honey contains B vitamins, vitamins C, D and E , as well as trace minerals. //
This drink is a remix of the classic mojito, traditionally made with white rum, lime and mint. I’ve always been partial to gold rum, so that’s what I’ve used here, but feel free to go with the white. I suspect any citrus you have on hand – oranges, clementines or lemons – would be a nice substitution for the grapefruit and lime. Bottoms up!
- 4 ounces gold or white rum
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 lime
- 12 basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger root
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Mix grated ginger with ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer while preparing the rest of the drink (about 10 minutes).
- Squeeze juice from grapefruit and lime.*
- In a glass or bowl muddle the basil leaves with some of the citrus juice.
- Add the rum and remaining citrus juice.
- Strain the ginger from the water and discard the ginger.
- Mix honey into the warm ginger liquid and allow to cool slightly.
- Add ginger-honey liquid to the citrus, rum and basil.
- Fill a shaker half with ice.
- Add half the drink mixture, shake and pour over ice.
- Repeat for second drink.
- Garnish with lime and basil leaves.