Drinks

Pineapple Mojitos

Pineapple Mojitos  |  Lemon & Mocha

A lot of people ask me where I get the inspiration for the recipes that I post. Recipes from cookbooks, food magazines and other food blogs are common, as well as inspiration from dining out. However, a lot of the time the recipe idea comes from using what I already have in my kitchen. These Pineapple Mojitos are one of those times and I could not be more excited about it! I wanted to post a delicious cocktail before Mother’s Day so you all could have something fun to brunch with this Sunday. I came up with what I thought sounded like a perfect springtime cocktail – a strawberry mint rosé drink – but I wasn’t having much success getting it to taste just right. The next night, Matt mentioned he was thinking about making a mojito with the leftover mint leaves from my cocktail experiment. The wheels started turning and when I saw the small cans of pineapple juice on the counter (used for a tasty recipe I will be posting on Monday!) these Pineapple Mojitos were born.

Pineapple Mojitos  |  Lemon & Mocha

A basic mojito consists of mint, white rum, sugar, lime juice and soda water, but basic won’t cut it. After fiddling around with the recipe and trying different variations I came up with the one below. It’s simple, but so refreshing. I used agave as the sweetener because it mixes really well into the drink and who wants to stand over a stove making simple syrup when there are drinks in your immediate future?! The tropical boldness of the pineapple juice is both sweet and tart, bringing even more of an island vibe to your happy hour. I used Polar’s seasonal Pineapple Pomelo seltzer to bring in even more pineapple flavor, but you can use the seltzer of your choice.

Pineapple Mojitos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am not a big mint fan, but I love this cocktail. The mint is present enough to deepen the flavor of the drink while being subtle enough to not be the dominant flavor. If you love mint, feel free to add more. I made this for a few friends and a couple of them had it without the mint and still loved it so you can certainly omit it if you wish, but I would suggest trying it with the mint first since it is a mojito after all! I will be making this many, many more times this summer. I hate to say it, but this just bumped the Leebreeze as my go-to cocktail at home – sorry Dad!

Pineapple Mojitos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope you enjoy this tropical sparkling cocktail! Happy Mother’s Day to all the fabulous Moms out there, and a special shout-out to my amazing step-mom, Diane, and my wonderful mother-in-law, Theresa!

Pineapple Mojitos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pineapple Mojitos
 
Yield: 1 drink or 8 servings in a pitcher
Ingredients
for one drink
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, washed
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2-4 ounces sparking water
  • 1 pineapple wedge, for garnish
for 8 servings in a pitcher
  • 2 cups roughly packed fresh mint leaves, washed
  • 2 cups white rum
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • ½ cup agave
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • Ice, for serving
  • 16-32 ounces sparkling water, for serving
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, for serving
  • Pineapple wedges, for serving
Directions
for one drink
  1. Lightly muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of your glass. I did this with the opposite end of a wooden spoon. You want to press it just enough to release their minty scent; if you tear or bruise mint leaves they turn bitter. Add the ice cubes.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup or cocktail shaker, add the rum, pineapple juice, agave and lime juice. Mix or shake to combine then pour over the ice in your glass. Top with the sparkling water and garnish with the pineapple wedge.
for 8 servings in a pitcher
  1. Lightly muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of the pitcher with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Make sure to do this very lightly; when mint leaves bruise or tear they turn bitter.
  2. Add the rum, pineapple juice, agave and lime juice. Stir until combined. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, add 4 ice cubes to each glass. Add the rum mixture then top off with 4 ounces of sparkling water each. Garnish with the mint leaf and pineapple wedge. To release the oils of the mint leaf before adding to the glass, clap it in between your hands.
Notes
The range on the sparkling water is to account for personal preference and glass size differences. When I made them in these stemless wine glasses I had plenty of room so I did 4 ounces per drink and they tasted really good. I made them again using short glasses that didn’t have as much room so I only used 2 ounces per drink and they also tasted really good. Start with the 2 ounces, try a sip (or two!) and add more if desired.

 

Leebreeze

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & MochaWhat wondrous sight do you see before you? Alas! Lemon & Mocha’s first ever drink post! Time to break out the cups, ice and don’t forget the vodka!

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

We aren’t just saying “cheers” to this post though, we are wishing my amazing dad a happy birthday. My dad is known for his Leebreezes so there seemed to be no better fitting tribute than this perfect summer cocktail.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

The Leebreeze is a variation of the traditional sea breeze drink, and by variation I mean it’s the same thing with a different name. A sea breeze consists of cranberry juice, grapefruit juice and vodka. Don’t forget the vodka. While you can make little onesies and twosies of this drink it is best prepared in a big pitcher for all party-goers and barbecue attendees to enjoy.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

For those of you that don’t know or haven’t guessed thus far, my dad’s first name is Lee, hence the Leebreeze. The naming was the genius work of one of my cousins a couple years ago. While my dad certainly didn’t invent the sea breeze, nor the Leebreeze for that matter, he brought the sea breeze a certain attitude that only my dad could.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

My dad is often the life of the party with his laugh heard from three rooms over and he wants everyone to have a great time. The Leebreeze isn’t just a relaxing fruity cocktail; it’s a let’s-get-this-party-started-go-to. So when your barbecue needs a little perk this summer, break out a pitcher of Leebreezes and turn it up a notch.

Leebreeze  |  Lemon & Mocha

Leebreeze
 
Yield: 8 servings or 1 drink
Ingredients
for a pitcher
  • 12 ounces vodka, room temperature
  • 30 ounces cranberry juice
  • 16 ounces grapefruit juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Grapefruit slices for garnish
for a single drink
  • 1.5 ounces vodka, room temperature
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Grapefruit slice for garnish
Directions
for a pitcher
  1. Fill a standard gallon pitcher half to three quarters full with ice. Pour the vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice over top then stir. Taste and adjust amounts of ingredients if needed. Pour into glasses and garnish with grapefruit slices.
for a single drink
  1. Fill a glass with ice. Pour the vodka over top. Pour in cranberry juice until the glass is three quarters full. Top off the remaining quarter with grapefruit juice. Stir, taste and adjust amounts of ingredients if needed. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

 

Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

There is so much hot chocolate in my apartment right now. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a hot chocolate hoarder. It’s okay, there are worse things to hoard like styrofoam peanuts and diner jelly packets, although I do have a couple of those packets in the fridge. What do you expect, I was raised by my grandma!

Even with all the hot chocolate options sitting in my cabinet I could not resist making this spiked hazelnut hot chocolate. I have never made homemade hot chocolate without a mix and after this experience it’s going to be hard to go back. The drink is creamy and decadent with a strong hazelnut flavor.

Just like Nutella tastes by itself, the hazelnut doesn’t overpower the chocolate taste. Since there is no powdered cocoa involved this hazelnut hot chocolate stays delightfully smooth.

The addition of the Frangelico, although fun and perfect for bringing out the hazelnut flavor, is of course optional so feel free to omit it for any kiddos or nondrinkers. I know this won’t be the last I see of this hot chocolate over the next couple months. I plan to drink it as a cozy breakfast treat, an after dinner dessert or as a nice warm pick-me-up after inevitably shoveling my car out of snow for the tenth time. How will you enjoy yours?

Spiked Hazelnut Hot Chocolate
 
Yield: 1 hot chocolate
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico or another hazelnut liquor
  • Whipped cream
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan on medium heat warm the milk until it begins to bubble at the edges.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the Nutella and Frangelico and whisk until smooth.
  3. Top with whipped cream then serve.

Recipe from Saveur.