Earlier this year, we planted a “garden.” By garden, I mean we have two topsy turvy planters. The bottom hole of the planter is for a tomato plant, and the side holes are for herbs. We weren’t sure what kind of herbs to buy, so bought a bunch of random stuff. Turns out, we bought a ton of mint.
I’m not sure why we bought so much mint since we very rarely need it. So I started thinking about ice cream that I could make with some of it. I didn’t want to do the standard mint chocolate chip and I also wanted to come up with a recipe on my own. It suddenly hit me: Mojito flavored ice cream!
It’s been a long time since I’ve had an actual mojito. I decided to make one so I could get a good idea of what the flavor should be like. It was disgusting. I will never be a bartender. Drinkers everywhere should be thankful. Despite the failure in the cocktail, I decided to forge on with this idea.
Since July is national ice cream month, I decided to bring this batch to work. Transporting it was a little tricky since I work a good 45 minute drive from where I live and it was a super warm day (>90°F). I ended up packing it in a cooler with several baggies of ice. The ice cream softened a lot by the time I got to work, but it didn’t melt.
I served the ice cream after lunch in seashell themed Dixie cups with cocktail umbrellas. It was a huge success. I had several coworkers tell me that it was the best ice cream they’ve ever had. Even people who aren’t huge ice cream fans (sacrilege!) loved it.
The nice think about this ice cream is that the combination of mint and lime make it so refreshing. It’s not heavy like some flavors can be, which makes it perfect for a super hot summer day. Two of my coworkers thought the mint was a little overpowering, though they are not huge mint fans to begin with. Most people felt that the balance of mint and lime was just right. The rum flavor was very subtle, so next time I might try some rum extract in addition to the alcohol. I worry that adding much more alcohol will cause the ice cream not to freeze.
This was a huge success. I’m so glad that my first ice cream recipe worked out so well. I would love to hear results from anyone else who decides to try this recipe out!
Mojito Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 1/4 c. half & half
- 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 6 g mint leaves
- zest from 1 lime, chopped fine
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp. light rum
In a medium saucepan, combine half & half, cream, mint, and sugar over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring the cream base to a simmer. If you have a thermometer, remove from heat once it reaches 170° – 180° F. If you do not have a thermometer, remove from heat once you see small bubbles forming. Cover and let cool for 30 mins. Once cool, put the ice cream base in the fridge until cold, at least 4 hours.
Pour the ice cream base through a mesh strainer into another container, preferably one with a spout. A spouted pot or pitcher will work great. Press the mint leaves in the strainer with a rubber spatula (or your hands) to extract as much minty goodness as you can, then discard the mint leaves. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and rum to the mixture. Stir to incorporate the ingredients through the cream. Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Using the KitchenAid ice cream attachment for my mixture, I churned my ice cream for about 25 minutes.
- If your cream is not cold enough, your ice cream maker might thaw out before the ice cream freezes enough.
- Cold cream will prevent it from curdling when the lime juice is added.
- If your lime zests are a half an inch or longer, chop them up into smaller bits. This will make for easier eating, and all of the zest won’t wrap around the ice cream beater.
- If you want less mint flavor, use half the amount of mint.
- Make the ice cream more fun by serving with a cocktail umbrella!