What is a mocktail? It's like a cocktail but without the alcohol.
What good is that, you ask? Oh, fine, I'll tell you. In case you haven't noticed, I'm Mormon, and we aren't the shot-downing sort. However, we still like a refreshing drink, and I love a fancy drink (girl.) Some people can't drink-drink, maybe because they tried that once and they became alcoholics. Others are pregnant, or driving, or whatever, so having a few mocktail recipes in your repertoire can be a good thing, Alky McGee.
I started throwing and attending mocktail parties in college. We'd gather as 90s hipsters (vintage dresses, vintage suits, vintage glasses, vintage music, think Swingers, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, actual swing dancing,) and toast up the good life. There may have been cocktail weenies. I still love to throw a mocktail party because they are fun. Enough people have consistently asked me for mocktail recipes that I thought I'd try out a regular mocktail column. This is The Jet Set after all, and a mocktail fits in right cozy-like.
At first it was going to be Mocktail Mondays, but then the alliteration made me want to vomit. Mocktail Tuesday? Good enough for today. I'll leave it up to you guys to vote in the poll on the name (and in case you don't think your vote matters, let me remind you that I still haven't read Twilight because the internet voted and you told me not to.)
Today's mocktail is the Driven Mojito. Why? Because without the rum this drink is pure as the driven snow. And also you can drive after drinking it.
Simple syrup (SS)
How to make simple syrup: boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water for a couple minutes until the sugar is melted and the water reduces slightly. Cool and pour into a container (like a squeeze bottle) for later. Keeps indefinitely (or until your kids figure out that you've stored hummingbird-type nectar in their grubby reach.)
Take one tall glass, put 3-4 mint leaves in the bottom, squeeze 1/2 a lime into the glass, and then throw the lime down. Mash the leaves and the lime with a muddler, or the handle of a wooden spoon, whatever you got.
Add more SS if you're in a shame spiral, or less if you prefer drinks dry ("dry" in drink terms generally means not sweet, or less flavored.) Today I used actual sugar, only about a teaspoon (the average Coke has 10 teaspoons of sugar) and muddling the sugar with the mint and lime helps it melt. Fill the glass with ice and pour in club soda. Stir and serve (the ice usually keeps the mint and lime at the bottom, but I didn't feel like ice today.) Garnish with a slice of lime, or a not-smashed mint sprig.
(You can cheat and get the sweetened lime syrup, but I don't think it tastes as fresh.)
A variation of the Driven Mojito is to use tonic water instead of club soda. Everyone knows that tonic water is delicious AND treats malaria. True story. You'll need less SS because tonic already has some sugar.
Ching-ching, it's mocktail time.
(Before I get the correction, I know that the bottle is actually sparkling water, not club soda, and therefore not as fizzy, but it's what I had and also, r e l a x.)