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Herbaceous, refreshing, and a bit sweet — that's the classic mojito. Simple as it is, people just can't get enough of this Cuban cocktail and it's been a summertime favorite for literal centuries. While it's typically prepared with mint leaves, if you're in the mood for something different, here's an idea for you: switch out all or some of the mint with strawberry leaves! Strawberry leaves (the little green "crowns" on top of strawberries) have a grassy, herbaceous taste.
They aren't sugary sweet like the actual fruit, according to Jessie Quinn of The Wellnest, but the leaves do have a very mild sweetness to them. Despite having plenty of potential as a flavoring ingredient, most see the leaves as waste and they're typically cut away and discarded. In fact, some people don't even know that strawberry leaves are edible! For this reason, unlike mint leaves, you won't find strawberry leaves readily available in stores. To give this trick a try, you'll need to get some fresh strawberries and trim the leaves yourself.
When you're ready to make your revamped mojito, simply swap out the mint leaves in your classic mojito recipe with an equal amount of strawberry leaves. Start by muddling the leaves with some simple syrup in a highball glass until the mixture becomes fragrant. Then, introduce the rum and lime juice, giving it a good stir. Finish it off by topping it with ice and a splash of club soda, and there you have it, a tasty (and healthy) strawberry leaf mojito, good to go!
Strawberry Leaves Can Be Used For More Than Just Flavoring Mojitos
Strawberry leaves can do much more than spice up your classic mojito, though. One creative way to use them is by making strawberry leaf syrup, which can be used to quickly add a fruity kick to any drink, whether it's tea or tropical cocktails.
Making strawberry leaf syrup is quite easy, just take a handful of the leaves and boil them in water to make a sort of "strawberry leaf tea." Then, take this tea and boil it once more, this time with an equal part of sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, you should have a sweet, fruity syrup in the pot. In cocktails like the Ramos Gin Fizz and Mint Julep, the syrup can lend a pretty lovely fruity twist to the drinks' flavor profile, just as it did with the mojito.
But wait, there's more! You can create a whole cocktail using the strawberry leaf syrup. Sustainable Bartender has a fantastic recipe for a strawberry leaf cocktail that includes gin, Aperol, balsamic vinegar, Peychaud's bitters, and aquafaba. Throw in the strawberry syrup you prepared earlier and top it with some lemon juice, and voila! You've got yourself an incredibly smooth and refreshing fruit-forward cocktail that could easily become your new favorite.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.