There was a time I really relished cocktails and experimented with it too. Then times changed and I slowly lost touch of making them. Yesterday while making making Bael (Bel) sharbat or panna I decided to experiment with this classic Mojito by giving it an Indian twist. The original Cuban Mojito calls for white rum but I really don’t like white rum much so I opted for Vodka, in this case OPM ( a Triple Distilled Luxury Spirited Russian Vodka).
On tasting I realized one could also make it with Absolut Citron. Must try that some time. This one has a refreshing sweet, citrus, mint flavor with a unique taste of Bael fruit which is hard to describe. This drink is incredible. Though I feel one will have to develop a taste for it.
Ripe Bael or Stone Apple has a sweet taste and often emits a sugary and musty aroma which I love. Usually we make the bael murraba or bael chutney with it if not making the refreshing bael squash or sharbat which I used in this recipe. I wonder if wood apple is the correct name for bael fruit. Maybe someone can guide on this. I prefer to call it Stone Apple. The fruit has medicinal values and is highly nutritious.
Now for the Mojito
- Bael/Bel/Stone Apple Panna concentrate
- Freshly Cracked Black Pepper – Just a sprinkle for each glass
- Salt – To rim the glasses
- Vodka – 60 ml of your choice of Vodka
- Ice cubes
- Use the Bael Panna recipe link to make Bael Panna.
- Omit Jaggery for making mojito and use sugar. Also omit roasted cumin seed powder.
For the Mojito – Muddle the mint leaves with the lemon juice and lemon quarters in a cocktail shaker or a jug with a muddler or back of the rolling pin..
Add the Bael panna, vodka and ice cubes.
I tweaked the classic Mojito here and omitted sugar syrup and carbonated water/soda
Close the cocktail shaker and shake well. If making in a jug just stir in all the ingredients.
To Serve- Rim two tall glasses with salt (Optional). You can use normal table salt or powdered rock salt for an extra kick.
Fill the glasses with lots of ice and pour the Wood Apple Vodka Mojito. Add a dash of freshly cracked black pepper for that zing. You can omit if you do not prefer it.
Garnish with mint sprig and lemon wheel/wedge.
You can make the bael panna in advance and refrigerate it. I sometimes like the taste of ginger juice in it but have not tried it in this cocktail. If you are adventurous go ahead and experiment. Let me know if it works. Someone suggested a dash of cayenne pepper instead of black pepper. I am not sure. 😛 I used 2 parts Bael panna to one part vodka but you can change it to your liking. Keep the mint and lemon low key to get the full flavor of the fruit juice.
Sorry about bad photography skills and for not using proper glasses etc. I am passionate about making stuff but do not have the finery to display.
Hope you enjoy trying out this.