I remember the exact moment I first tasted a mojito. I learned the delights of Cuban rum on a trip to France almost 20 years ago. One sip in a seaside café Saint-Jean- Cap Ferrat was all it took. My dear friend Virginia Willis makes a version with peaches that inspires me to do more than sip on my Georgia front porch. Process the peaches in advance and assemble in a pitcher right before guests arrive. If you need to use frozen peeled peaches, the mojitos will be lighter in color. The rich golden pinks in peach skin darken the drink to a beautiful rose-like blush.
- 1½ lbs (3 medium) ripe peaches, unpeeled, pitted andchopped, or 2 cups sliced frozen peaches, thawed
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
- ½ cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves
- 4 cups club soda, chilled
- 2 cups white rum (Havana Club is my favorite duty-free souvenir from any trip abroad)
- fresh mint sprigs, peach wedges for garnish
- Process thefirst 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. This yieldsabout 2 1/2 cups.
- Muddle the mint leaves against the bottom andsides of a glass pitcher to release the flavors. The leaves should be bruisedand torn. Add the club soda, rum, and peach mixture; stir to combine. Serveimmediately over ice. Garnish, if desired.