Today was the nicest day we’ve had in a while — clear skies, high of 70, lots of sun, and no wind. It was a day meant to be spent outside. So, instead of lounging around our condo being lazy like we usually do on Saturdays, Dan and I decided to revive our balcony garden. Admittedly, neither of us is really that good with plants yet. Especially me — I managed to kill three cacti in my office last year. And Dan, who actually comes from a family of good gardeners, never really took an interest in plants before. So when we started our balcony garden last spring, there was definitely a bit of a learning curve. But it was fun, and we were so pumped when our plants started to actually grow things. I think Dan spent basically every morning on the balcony, plant-whispering to his peppers. Must have worked, because we had more peppers than we could eat last year. Our thumbs weren’t black after all!
Lessons learned from last year: (1) citrus plants need a ton of sunlight and lots of warm weather, (2) over-zealous watering is bad for plants, (3) herbs just take up garden space if you never actually use them, (4) mint can overrun everything in no time, (5) peppers are easy to grow but we don’t actually eat that many peppers, and (6) growing flowers from seeds is beyond my powers. So this year, we changed things up! We got a new mint plant (our other ones died over the winter) and put it in its own pot, bought full grown daisies for our hanging planters, and replaced our herb pots with tomatoes, a habanero plant, and some green onions. Doesn’t everything look awesome???
As a reward for all our hard work in the garden, I made us a big pitcher of mojitos. Cherry-berry frozen mojitos, to be exact. I love mojitos in any form, but blended just seems more decadent, don’t you think? And, cherry isn’t a flavor you see a lot in drinks, so that uniqueness made these mojitos a lot of fun. I had originally planned on using frozen peaches for our post-gardening cocktail, but when I saw bags of frozen cherries at the store I knew I had to try them. The resulting beverage wasn’t as tart as I was expecting, but a dash of lime juice helped balance out the sweetness of the cherries. Cool, sweet, slightly fizzy, and refreshing, these mojitos were the perfect treat after a productive morning/afternoon in the garden…and again the next day, just because. Cheers!
- 1 (12oz) package of frozen cherries
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 4 oz light rum
- 1.5 oz mint-infused simple syrup (I used store-bought syrup this time, but you can easily make your own by melting sugar and water in a pot and steeping fresh mint leaves in the syrup)
- 1 cup club soda
- 1 oz lime juice
- ½ tray ice cubes (Optional - the first batch, I used ice cubes, the second batch I forgot them. Both turned out well and tasted more or less the same, with the same consistency, so it's up to you if you want to add these!)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth. (At this point, taste the mixture to see if you prefer more of any ingredient. Too sweet? Add more lime juice. Not sweet enough? More simple syrup. Thicker than you like? Add some club soda. Or rum.)
- Pour, serve, enjoy!