Last weekend I went to a mango celebration. A friend extended the invitation to me a while back. He said everyone brings a dish for a mango recipe competition. When he reminded me about the party last week, I realized I had a dilemma: none of my mangos are ripe yet. These mango enthusiasts would know a store-bought mango when they tasted one. I had a bag of Keitts in my freezer from last year’s crop. That would have to do.
Once mangos are frozen, they don’t hold up well in cooked recipes. Smoothies and daiquiris are the best way to use them. While I love mango daiquiris, I wanted something unique. I thought mango ginger limeade would be refreshing on a hot day. It evolved into a Mango Ginger Mojito.
It was a tropical backyard party, set among lantern-lit mango trees. There were ballots to vote for the best mango appetizer, entree, and dessert. There was no drink category for my mojito- oh, well. It was hard to choose from tasty dishes like mango sushi, mango jicama salad and mango shrimp creole. The dessert table was mango heaven: mango tiramisu, mango cakes and pies, 2 kinds of mango sticky rice (!), mango sorbet…
I wandered around the garden, learning about the host’s hydroponic vegetables and clever squirrel deterrents. Someone called out to come inside, they’re announcing winners. I walked into a house full of people cheering and clapping. Someone nudged me and said “You won!”
I won best overall, no kidding! So now you have to try my “award-winning” mojito.
Mango Ginger Mojito
- 2 cups fresh or frozen mangos
- 2/3 cup light rum (I used Cruzan)
- 1/2 cup simple syrup or agave
- 1/3 cup lime juice, plus two sliced limes
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 sprigs of fresh mint
- 2 cups club soda
Combine the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher. Add the ginger, 1 sliced lime, and 5 sprigs of mint. Muddle everything together with a wooden spoon.
Puree the mango in a blender for 1 minute. Strain it through a mesh sieve to remove any fiber.
Muddle the strained mango puree with the other ingredients in the pitcher. If you put it in the fridge for an hour or so the flavors will get even better. Add the club soda right before serving.
To serve, fill 6 glasses with ice and top with the mango ginger mojito. Garnish with the reserved lime slices and mint leaves. Pop in a straw.