Garden to Cocktail: Cilantro Mojitos

These three mojito recipes are for the cilantro-lovers. 

Cilantro Mojito

Cilantro Mojito

Trading in mint for cilantro is a spicy twist on this classic cocktail.

Today I’m arguing in defense of cilantro. 

Our country seems to be divided between those who hate and those who love this pungent herb. Some have been completely scared off by cilantro’s flavor–many say the herb tastes like soap, a phenomenon that may be genetic.

For me, cilantro is the new mint.  I put it in salads, stews or sometimes just eat it raw. I’ll even admit there have been multiple dinner occasions when I have picked the herb out of a cilantro-hating friend’s meal.

Exchanging mint for cilantro adds a spicy kick to the classically sweet summer cocktail. And just like a traditional mojito, your flavor combinations are endless. Here’s three to get you started:

Cilantro Mojito

  • 6–8 cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rich cilantro simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda or clear, citrus soda
  • 1 lime
  • Ice

Muddle cilantro simple syrup and cilantro leaves in the bottom of a glass. Add rum, juice from one lime, and ice. Garnish with a lime wedge. 

For a pineapple cilantro mojito, use 1/2 tablespoon cilantro simple syrup and 1 tablespoon pineapple juice. Garnish with fresh pineapple slices.

For a jalapeno cilantro mojito, use 2 tablespoons cilantro simple syrup and add jalapeno slices to the mix. Note: careful, this one’s hot! 

To make rich* cilantro simple syrup:

  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part water
  • Cilantro sprigs, rinsed

2 cups sugar and 1 cup water yields 2 cups of cilantro simple syrup.

Bring water to a boil, then slowly add sugar. Stir continuously until the sugar is dissolved and remove pan from heat.  Add in cilantro and stir, gently muddling the cilantro with your spoon.

Allow the mixture to completely cool before use and store in an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

*Regular simple syrup calls for 1 part sugar to one part water, but this thicker syrup is perfect for cocktails and allows you to use less than many drink recipes normally call for. 

Next Up

Lush Life: A Cucumber, Jalapeno and Cilantro Cocktail

Cilantro ice cubes melt to make an even more delicious fresh-from-the-garden drink.

A Fennel-Based Cocktail Recipe

This garden-fresh take on the classic rickey cocktail can be made in single servings or in bulk for a spirited punch.

Herbal Cocktail Recipe

Toast St. Patrick with goodies from the garden like basil and cucumber.

How to Grow a Cocktail Garden

"The Drunken Botanist" shares secrets for a garden full of cocktail-ready ingredients.

How to Make Herbal Sun Tea

Using the warmth of the sun, make some healthy, delicious sun tea from the herbs you've grown in your home garden.

Beet Cocktail Recipe

Ever thought of combining beets, goat cheese and vodka? Try a unique flavor pairing with this cocktail recipe from Asheville restaurant Posana.

How to Candy Mint Leaves

Learn how to make your own candied mint leaves for holiday desserts and cocktails.

A Rhubarb Cocktail

Poached rhubarb, hibiscus tea and vodka make a special warm-weather drink.

Rose Colored Glass: Try a Rose Petal Cocktail

Blooms and booze come together in this dreamy concoction.

Pineapple Mojito Recipe

Drink in the tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut and your fresh garden mint in this flavor-packed cocktail.