I would like to think that when we have guests that I make them feel at home. I hope that they feel like they can find a comfy seat outside, put their feet up and relax. We have a pond in our backyard that is nestled in the woods. Crickets, frogs sing their songs and early in the evening we can even hear the owls.
I have been known to fall asleep late in the evening after being serenaded by their chorus. The squirrels keep up their frenetic pace, oblivious to my presence. The dogs find their comfortable spots on the docks and for a little while we are all still.
So when we have guests, and the weather permits, I like to give them a little taste of this country life. I could make things easier on myself if I just picked something up, quick and easy, for dinner. Instead, I light candles, put out comfortable seating and prepare a meal that they will talk about on the way home.
A great way to start any meal on a warm summer night is with a nice, fresh drink. Nothing heavy, nothing too artificially sweet, just right with a light grilled dish. I think if people knew how easy and quick it was to make a pitcher of fresh drinks they would stop serving their guests ‘pour and serve’ concoctions from the bottom shelf at the grocery store.
Few drinks help beat the heat like the Mojito. Fizzy, sweet-tart and minty, this classic Cuban cocktail is refreshing from the first sip. Muddle the mint with the lime juice, use a good white rum and add club soda. The fruity base is from the ripe peaches. This stone fruit ,makes an irresistible partner for the citrus and mint.
This, the Peach Mojito, is one of my favorite summer drinks and it is easily adaptable to what you like or have on hand. I chose peaches because I had a peck of ripe ones that I needed to use up. Peel the ripe peaches carefully as to not lose too much of their sweet juice!
3 C coarsely chopped peeled ripe peaches
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 C fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
3/4 C sugar (you can use agave…I didn’t this time)
1/2 C packed mint leaves
2 C white rum
4 C club soda, chilled
Place the peaches in a blender and puree until smooth. You may pass the puree through a sieve to strain out the solids but I don’t always do that. it reminds me that I am eating a pureed fresh fruit!
Combine zest, lime juice, sugar and mint in a tall pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to crush the mixture and imparting the mint in to the mix.
Add peach puree and rum to the pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Stir in the club soda. Best served over crushed ice with a mint sprig.