Showing posts with label Mojito cupcake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mojito cupcake. Show all posts

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tale of the Virgin Mojito by Cleo Coyle

I'm a cheap drunk, meaning very little coin at the bar will get me loopy.

I'm sure this isn't much of a revelation to anyone aware of my partiality for the most classically sobering of beverages (i.e. coffee, which I normally take via an IV drip beside my writing desk).

My husband is the same way when it comes to alcohol. We enjoy a nice, cold beer on the weekend; a glass of vino with dinner every now and again. For the most part, however, cocktails are a special occasion thing and not part of our daily routine.

That's mostly why I came late to the mojito. The drink, which is basically a Cuban mint julep, has been trendy for some time now, but I only got around to trying one about two years ago. Well, let me tell was love at first sip!

I sampled the mojito a few more times, even began to make them at home. But, it seemed to me, a pattern was emerging. A short time after I drank my little Cuban friend, I started feeling annoyed, antsy, even argumentative. Was I imagining it? Hmmm....

I couldn't help thinking of one of our rescued stray cats. We took in Mr. Fellows when he was a very tiny kitten. He loves us. We love him. And he's about the most pleasant, even-tempered, genuinely happy feline in our house. BUT...get a little catnip into this puss and he starts to growl and proceeds to pick fights with every furball who passes his paws.

So I'm thinking maybe there's something to my pattern, too. I mean, beer and wine don't have a negative impact on my mood. So I tried my rum mojito one more time and decided I was not imagining it. Sad but true, too much white rum sends me to the Dark Side.

This is one reason my "Virgin Mojito" was born. The other reason is my realization that the refreshing experience of sweetened lime and mint over ice was the real attraction for me all along.

Do I miss the rum buzz? Not really. I mean, I could try switching the alcohol to bourbon, essentially making the drink a mint julep. Maybe next time I'm at a party or in a bar I'll give it a test. I'm not really that concerned. At heart, I'm a relentlessly sober sort of person anyway, more workaholic than alcoholic. Which isn't to say I wouldn't consider a trip to the Dark Side again...if tempted.

Until then, my quickie Virgin Mojito recipe will have to do. It's one I especially enjoy during New York's long, sticky summers.

Finally, I still can't help wondering if the rum thing is all in my mind. Do any of you have a type of alcohol that sends you to the Dark Side?

Cleo Coyle's
Virgin Mojito

Servings: 1


10-20 fresh spearmint leaves
1 wedge of fresh lime
2 or 3 ice cubes
ginger ale
1 thin slice of fresh lime


"Muddling" the mint is the only real technique to get right here. To "muddle" something for a cocktail means to crush it in the glass with a utensil. Bartenders have a device called a muddle, but the prongs of a fork will do the job just as well.

Step 1 - Place your mint leaves in the bottom of your glass and squeeze the juice from you lime wedge onto the mint. 

Step 2 - Use the prongs of a fork to muddle the dampened mint. (You are crushing the mint to release its essential oils.)

Step 3 - Drop the spent lime wedge into the glass and toss a few whole ice cubes on top of it all. (Note: A classic mojito uses crushed ice, but I like the whole cubes, which serve as a kind of strainer, keeping the mass of crushed spearmint leaves away from the rim of the glass so you can sip the drink without most of the leaves getting in your way.)

Step 4 - Fill the glass with ginger ale, place the slice of lime on the rim and...

Drink with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cupcakes for Grown-Ups (Featuring the Mojito)

Announcement: We will be holding a
drawing this week to
win an autographed
copy of Sunday's guest blogger Sally
book. Just send us an email
or comment on
any of our blogs this week
to be entered in
the drawing. Good Luck!!!

Did you ever have anyone call you "cute"?
Usually, it's the high school guy you have a crush on
who thinks of you as his little sister because
you're still in middle school. What you
feel like doing is kicking him in the shins and
telling him "cute" is for puppies and kittens and cupcakes!
Yes, cupcakes. But of course, you don't do that. You turn bright
red and run home and cry into your pillow because the boy of your dreams
thinks you're "cute" instead of "hot" or a "babe". Then again, maybe this is
just me and perhaps I am sharing too much -- wouldn't be the first time.

But for those of you who have suffered the label "cute", I want you
to know I hear you! Now that you're an adult you're over it, way
over it, and now you don't want "cute" in your life. For instance,
you've had it with cutesy kid cupcakes that look like teddy bears or
clown heads. You want a cupcake with attitude, one that marries the
subtleties of adult flavors, like mint and lime, and makes you remember
that you're an adult...who loves cupcakes even though, yes, they are
awfully "cute".

In my first cupcake bakery mystery, SPRINKLE WITH MURDER,
Melanie Cooper, my main character, hosts a cooking class in
her bakery that features happy hour cupcakes. One of the
cupcakes that they bake is a personal favorite of mine,
the mojito cupcake.

The Mojito: A dense, golden cupcake flavored with lime zest and dried spearmint leaves and topped with a rum flavored icing.


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Sift all the dry stuff

together in a big bowl. Melt the butter and add

the beaten egg to it. Add that to the dry ingredients,

stirring in the milk until smooth. Zest half of a

lime, add it to the bowl. Squeeze in half of the lime

as well. Add the dried spearmint leaves to the batter,

mixing well. Bake for 16-20 minutes until they spring

back to the touch. Makes 12.

Rum buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon rum flavored extract
  • Mix all ingredients until fluffy
  • Garnish with a candied spearmint leaf, real mint leaf or lime wedge.

Jenn McKinlay

aka Lucy Lawrence