Flavors of the World: Mojito Madness Ice Cream

Flavors of the World: Mojito Madness Ice Cream

Jul 12, 2010 |  by  |  Ice Cream Making, In the Kitchen  |  Share

Flavors of the World is a bi-weekly segment that follows Jason as he circles the globe (from behind his computer screen) in search of captivating flavors to bring home and turn into frozen concoctions. Part history lesson, part cooking demonstration – Flavors of the World is a sampling of all that’s good in the world.

The first stop in our Flavors of the World tour is Cuba where it’s said the classically refreshing drink called the Mojito, as we know it today, originated back in the late 19th century. Traditionally, this drink is a mix of white rum, sugar cane juice, spearmint (yerba buena), lime, and sparkling water. How exactly the mojito came to be is up for debate. One story claims that it evolved from a drink called El Draque, the Spanish nickname of Sir Francis Drake, English sea captain and renowned pirate to the Spaniards. Supposedly, one of his fellow pirates used a really old school, unrefined rum called aguardiente, to make the drink and since it was a pretty harsh tasting liquor, lime, mint and sugar were added to ease the taste. Since Sir Francis used Cuba as his home base, the drink naturally spread in that area. As soon as rum was widely available throughout Britain around 1650, rum replaced the aguardiente.

The other story out there claims that African slaves from the 19th century working in Cuban sugar cane fields came up with an early version of the drink when they began crushing sugar cane stalks to release the sweet liquid known as guarapo and mixed that with aguardiente and lime juice. Regardless of which story is true, this is one heckuva refreshing drink on a hot day.

Now when it comes to translating this drink into an ice cream the tricky part is incorporating the rum to a degree where you can actually taste it without feeling like you’d have to brown bag your ice cream while walking down the street. And since alcohol acts as a sort of anti-freeze when added to ice cream, you have to keep in mind that too much will lead to a sloppy outcome. In my attempt to get a nice rum flavor in this recipe, I think I may have burned off too much of the alcohol as I brought it to a boil with the simple syrup (sugar, lime juice, rum) and again while bringing the milk and cream mixture to a boil. Next time I’ll do one of two things: (1) Use about 2 Tbsp of pure rum extract in place of real rum or (2) add the simple syrup to the ice cream machine rather than adding it to the milk and cream mixture on the stove. My hope is that by doing one of these two things, the rum taste will be more pronounced.

Another important thing to point out is that the initial recipe I used called for 1 cup of chopped mint. I’d definitely reduce this to 3/4 cup next time or even 1/2 cup since the resulting mint flavor was too overpowering. Good for a mint ice cream, but since I was trying to also include a lime and rum taste, it just didn’t work out.  The lime zest was a cool addition that added color, texture and flavor to the ice cream and when I try this recipe again I’ll probably use 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon more than what’s listed in the ingredients to get a bigger burst of lime with every bite.

If you have any suggestions for how to make this recipe better or if you give it a go yourself, let me know what you think by leaving your comments below!

Overall, I think this recipe has a lot of potential and I’ll give it another shot in the near future to see if my revisions make a difference. The mint portion of the ice cream was adapted from Jeni Britton’s Mint Ice Cream recipe at foodandwine.com.

Mojito Ice Cream Ingredients
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup light rum
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated lime zest
  1. Mix 2 Tbsp. milk with cornstarch until cornstarch has dissolved.
  2. Whip cream cheese in large bowl until smooth.
  3. In a saucepan combine 1/3 cup of sugar, lime juice, and rum. Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
  4. In a large saucepan combine remaining milk and sugar, heavy cream, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  5. Take off the heat and mix in cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook until it slightly thickens (about a minute).
  6. Pour hot mixture into bowl with cream cheese. Mix until smooth. Add mint and salt. Place the bowl in the ice water and leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Strain the mixture into the ice cream maker, pressing the mint leaves to get a more minty flavor. Add lime zest and rum mixture. Follow instructions for your ice cream machine.
  8. Put ice cream in plastic container, place Press ‘n Seal over the top and seal with the lid. Freeze for roughly 4 hours before serving.

In our next segment I head to Savannah, Georgia for some sweet potato pie ice cream. And man, do I loves me some sweet ‘tater pie. You can follow my travels on the map below. Clicking on a map marker will display the recipe and a photo. Stay tuned and stay cool!

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1 Comment

  1. Hello! I was searching for a Mojito ice cream recipe and am glad to have found this. I am also a huge fan of Jeni’s ice creams and your recipe is exactly what I would’ve done! (following the Backyard Mint recipe in her book). So in hindsight, would you say it’s best to increase the LIME flavor… maybe to 1/2 cup of lime-rum syrup?

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