Wicked Lemon Lavender Mojitos

As if we needed an occasion to drink more rum…  Tomorrow is National Rum Day! To help us celebrate, the folks from Wicked Dolphin Rum sent us a bottle of their Florida Silver artisanal rum, which is handcrafted using 100% Florida sugar cane in small batches and aged in bourbon barrels to give it a warm vanilla undertone. As many connoisseurs know, the true test of any distilled liquor is to drink it neat. The first sip revealed it to be a good sipping rum; smooth with a polished finish without the burn that many spirits leave behind.

As the menfolk were gathering to enjoy some brews at a local pub, I was looking forward to some girl time with old friends. As happens most often, we take inspiration from things around us. Working in the yard, I brushed against some lavender. The heady scent captured the essence of the dog days of summer. My mind instantly went to a mojito with muddled lavender as the starting point. An experimental rendition with lime and lavender was too tart and not quite right. Subbing in lemons was the ticket; creating the perfect late summer concoction!

Lavender Simple Syrup
¾ cup water
1 cup sugar
5-6 lavender sprigs or 2 teaspoons food grade lavender flowers

Make the simple syrup in advance to allow it to cool sufficiently before using. Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil and the sugar and lavender stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes to steep the lavender. Pour the syrup through a strainer and allow to cool completely.

Lemon Lavender Mojitos
Juice of ½ a lemon, freshly squeezed
1½ oz. lavender simple syrup
2 oz. Wicked Dolphin Silver rum
1 oz. soda water (give or take)

If you want a true mojito experience, you can muddle some fresh lavender in the bottom of the cocktail glass before pouring. In a cocktail shaker, mix lemon juice, lavender syrup and rum with ice and pour into a cocktail glass. Top with soda water and give a quick stir. Now get wicked!