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Tequila Mojitos with Agave Nectar

Just last week we had one of those rare mountain evenings, when it stays warm enough to sit outside without having to put on a fleece jacket. With both fragrant mint and Mexican limones on hand, all it took was a last minute invite to neighbors to get me muddling that mint into a batch of flavor-bursting tequila mojitos.

Refreshing tequila mojitos from LettysKitchen.com

Friends—it’s still summer; fall doesn’t officially begin until a month from now. Besides that, even in the middle of winter, thirst-quenchers called mojitos feel like summer. Let’s raise a glass to friendship, health—and summer. ¡Arriba!

Mint and Limes for tequila mojitos from LettysKitchen.com

A traditional Cuban mojito is made with white rum. However, the preferred spirit in our cocktail cabinet is 100% agave tequila, so we change it up. For tequila mojitos, mash fresh mint leaves and just-squeezed lime juice with agave nectar, strain into a tall ice-filled glass, float tequila and sparkling water on top, and garnish with a slice of lime. Ta-da!

Tequila Mojitos details:

  • To crush the leaves and release mint flavor, bartenders use a flat-bottomed muddler, tall and narrow enough to mash fruits or herbs in a “highball” glass. Lacking such a tool earlier this summer, I mashed my mint, agave and lime juice with a mortar and pestle—it worked great. (If you’ve used your mortar and pestle to puree garlic and basil pesto, it might not be the right tool.)
  • Maybe I’m picky, but when I’m nursing the ice at the bottom of my cocktail, too many spent leaves are yucky. I prefer to muddle a decent amount of mint, and strain out the juice when the mint is good and mashed, pressing the leaves for maximum minty flavor. Save a leaf or two to float in the glass.

Refreshing tequila mojitos from LettysKitchen.com

  • I use a hand lime squeezer, like this one. (In the open squeezer cup, place the cut side of the lime down, which might be the opposite of what you think.)
  • Be sure your tequila says 100% agave on the bottle. You can choose blanco (silver) tequila that hasn’t been aged, or reposado, which has spent at least 2 months in wooden barrels. (Jose Cuervo Gold is only 51% agave, with corn syrup and grain alcohol making up the rest.)
  • I use La Croix natural lime flavored sparkling water to top off these tequila mojitos. Any “carbonated” water is fine, even club soda.
  • Having a party? Muddle a multiplied measure of mint and agave nectar with about ¼ of the lime juice. Strain and add the remaining lime juice. Instead of making a big pitcher, measure ¼ cup minted juice and ¼ cup of tequila into iced glasses. Top off with the sparkling water.
  • For a refreshing “mocktail”, simply leave out the tequila.
  • You might also like this recipe for crimson Hibiscus Margaritas. Or this Lemon Basil Lemonade.
  • Need a giggle? Tequila takes a silly takeoff on drug ads.

Refreshing tequila mojitos from LettysKitchen.com

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Tequila Mojitos
These tequila mojitos are refreshing and delicious departures from the usual margaritas! For parties, muddle the lime, mint and agave nectar ahead of time. That way all you have to do is measure the minted juice and tequila into an ice-filled glass and top with sparkling water.
Ingredients
  • 1 packed tablespoon of fresh mint leaves , about 8, depending on size of leaves
  • 4 teaspoons organic agave nectar (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice (see note)
  • About 1/4 cup 100% agave blanco or reposado tequila
  • About 1/4 cup sparkling water
Instructions
  1. Using a muddler, a mortar and pestle or the back of a wooden spoon, mash the mint leaves with the agave nectar and lime juice until the mint is well smashed. Strain, reserving a couple of mint leaves. Fill a glass with ice. Add the strained minted juice and tequila, and then top off with sparkling water. Drop in a reserved mint leaf; stir to blend. Garnish with lime and a mint leaf, if desired.
Recipe Notes
  • Traditionally, the mint is muddled with sugar and is not strained out.
  • I use the small Mexican limones, aka Key limes. If the larger Persian limes are all you have—no worries—squeeze them up.

6 comments

  • Maura

    Yummy. Wish I was there! Reply · 21 August, 2015

    • Letty

      I wish you were here too! I’ll sip a toast to you…… Reply · 22 August, 2015

  • That looks like the perfect end to an afternoon of heat. Reply · 24 August, 2015

    • Letty

      Yes, these are absolutely delicious. I think mojitos have usurped magaritas–at least when there is mint nearby. Reply · 24 August, 2015

  • I’ve always wonder how Jose Cuervo got away with calling their liquor Tequila. Tequila (like Champagne) is an AOC. Now I have to worry about its ingredients as well. GREG Reply · 24 August, 2015

    • Letty

      One day we’ll share a shot over this topic. In Mexico perhaps. I’d like to visit Jalisco and study. Reply · 24 August, 2015

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