Fresh Cherry Mojitos

by jenna on May 21, 2012

Right when I saw these beautiful early summer cherries at my local farm stand last week, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

And that was add rum. And sugar. And lime juice and mint! Amen.

Ever since I tried a fresh blackberry margarita at a little bar in San Francisco last month, I knew I had to recreate something like it for the blog. Mojitos remind me of home and all the delicious Cuban food that was all over the place there. I used to love a restaurant in Tampa that made mojitos table-side and then garnished them with a fat stick of fresh sugarcane. Couple that with some mojo pork, sweet fried plantains and black beans and rice and I was happy as a clam.

If you can’t find cherries yet where you are, you can use frozen bing cherries for this recipe. Just defrost them and roughly chop them ’em up. I’ll admit, pitting cherries can be a bit of pain but this cocktail is definitely worth it.

Oh! and if rum isn’t your thing, then you should make it then you can use this cherry syrup in vodka or tequila. Or, make a “mocktail” with fresh cherry syrup and sparkling water. I think that would be fun for a spring baby shower, don’t you?!

YUM. These made me think of cherry limeade, which made me think of junior year, which made me think of the amazing blue prom dress my mom picked out for me that made me feel like a princess! Oooooooh awkward slow songs by Usher.

ENJOY THESE!!!!! I think they’d be a huge hit at a Memorial Day bash…or maybe just at 5pm today. Whatev.

Warning: they go down way too fast. Not that I’d know from experience or anything……….

Fresh Cherry Mojitos

serves about 6

Print this recipe!


for cherry syrup—

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 lb sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped

for assembly and serving—

1 tbsp minced fresh mint (each glass)

1/4 cup cherry syrup (each glass)

juice of 1 lime each

2 oz light rum each

8 oz sparkling water each


Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepot on the stove. Bring to a boil and stir so that all the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add fresh, chopped cherries. Stir and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until chilled. You can make this cherry syrup ahead of time and keep covered in the fridge.

When you’re ready to make your mojitos, drop a tablespoon of fresh minced mint in each glass, followed by 1/4 cup of cherry syrup and juice of 1 lime. Using the end of a wooden spoon (or whatever you have!) muddle the mixture together. The, add 2 oz rum and about a cup of sparkling water. Add ice! Serve with additional mint and cherries.



2 hours (includes time to make and chill cherry syrup)

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris @ May 21, 2012 at 3:24 am

My wedding anniversary is this coming weekend. We have a thing for mojitos so this spin-off is perfect! Thank you.


Erika - The Teenage Taste May 21, 2012 at 4:04 am

Normally I’m not one for fancy beverages, but I think this miiiiight just be the exception. Do you think it would work well as a virgin cocktail, too?


Mary May 21, 2012 at 4:19 am

I’m from Tampa too!! What place are you talking about that has the table side mojitos?

Love your blog. Everything I’ve ever made is always totally delicious!


Urban Wife May 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Colombia Restaurant, I believe. 🙂


Molly @ RDexposed May 21, 2012 at 4:31 am

I’m not one for many kitchen gadgets, but I do LOVE my cherry pitter!


Lily O' Dare @ Candied-Life May 21, 2012 at 4:34 am

Cherries remind me of my mom! I love your photographs and all of the beautiful colors.

I am interning all day and then going to straight to work at a kick off event for Portland Feast in NYC… I really wish I could have a Cherry Mojito break!!

xo Lily


Julie May 21, 2012 at 5:20 am

We live in Tampa, too! Would love some tips on great restaurants in the area, especially the one that makes mojitos tableside!


Aislinn May 21, 2012 at 6:50 am

I think The Columbia makes mojitos tableside. If you don’t feel like getting all fancy to go to the big restaurant, go to the Columbia cafe at the Tampa Bay History Center next to Channelside. Their prices are cheaper on some items, the view of the river is beautiful, and they still have the mojitos. 🙂

Some of my favorite restaurants in town are Ceviche, Datz, Yummy House, The Taco Bus, Arco Iris (hole-in-the-wall Cuban), The Independent (more of a bar), and Ella’s Folk Art Cafe, to name a few.


Rebecca May 21, 2012 at 8:08 am

I love your name!


Julie May 21, 2012 at 8:42 am

Thanks for the restaurant tips! We just moved here (Tampa) in December and we have a baby so haven’t gotten out to explore much yet. Your list gives me a good excuse to plan a date night!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh May 21, 2012 at 5:29 am

Yes please!


Kelley May 21, 2012 at 5:35 am

Yes, yes, and yes.


Amanda at the red table May 21, 2012 at 5:52 am

Very nice. These look so good, but it’s far from 5 o’clock today! 🙂


amy walters, aDESIGNdock May 21, 2012 at 6:10 am

Ooh…this looks so refreshing Jenna. It’s a holiday Monday up here in Canada…this would be a perfect compliment to the day off. ahhh!


Katrina May 21, 2012 at 6:17 am

Mmmm I could go for one of these today!!


Aislinn May 21, 2012 at 6:30 am

You’re talking about The Columbia, no? We currently live in Asia, but Tampa is home for both me & the hubs. We go home NEXT WEEK for a month to show off our new baby; plenty of Cuban food and plenty of mojitos are definitely in the plans! I hope I can find some cherries in season to make this! We used to also like to get blueberries and muddle them with the lime & mint for something similar.


Christy May 21, 2012 at 6:30 am

That looks SO delicious and refreshing!!


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen May 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

Well these look like the perfect thing for the 4 lbs. of cherries I bought yesterday! Maybe not all 4lbs. of them, that could get ugly ;).
Also, completely unrelated, just wanted to say that I just got home from a trip to Sonoma/Napa with a friend and we used some of your recs for restuarants (Zin & Zazu) and seriously couldn’t have loved either anymore that we did. We also did the food & wine pairing at Kendall Jackson which was a recommendation from Kath’s blog through you. Everything = amazing!


Tracy @ Commit to Fit May 21, 2012 at 7:17 am

Hello Summer! These look great!


Lauren May 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

Nothing beats fresh cherries!!


Julie May 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

Oh my, this looks divine. Seems like a great drink to make for Memorial Day weekend!!!


Antonia @ healthinspirations May 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

I’m not the biggest mojito lover but you make them sound so delicious. Will have to try them, although I might make the mocktail variation!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

These look so beautiful Jenna! Cherries seem to be popping up all over the blog world this morning and although they still cost an arm and a leg here, I’m going to be buying buckets of them pretty soon. Many mojitos to come! 🙂


Averie @ Averie Cooks May 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

I love cherries. I could eat them until I turn into one big cherry. They are one of my fave fruits! And the syrup and then the rum, oh I bet these do go down oh, so, very easy!


Kristin @ FoodFash May 21, 2012 at 7:51 am

That looks like an appropriate lake-side drink, for sure!


Cait's Plate May 21, 2012 at 7:51 am

Can’t wait til I start seeing cherries around here…I’m DYING for some! And this is an awesome idea for them 🙂


Jackie May 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

I was planning to make a pitcher of mojitos for my book club on Thursday and your post caught my eye! We just picked strawberries yesterday at our local farm – do you think they might make a good mojito? Or perhaps I should just get the frozen bing cherries? Thanks!


Allyn May 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

Um, yes please!


Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles May 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

Mojitos with fresh fruit are my favorite! Hands down! I like to make them in a big jug and pack them to the river for a day of lounging by the water come summertime!


Sam @ Fit for My Fork May 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

I’ll take two! Or three! These look amazing and I LOVE cocktails that looks that fancy!


Margarita May 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

I love cherries! Before I moved to the US, the only cherries I knew of were the maraschino cherries from a can and I thought they were awful. When I moved here, I lived with a family who owns a fruit company and their house was surrounded by acres of orchards… cherry, apple, and pear trees EVERYWHERE. I thought I died and went to heaven… cherries are awesome and I’m happy to know I can even drink it!


Melissa @ SquatsandSquash May 21, 2012 at 9:23 am

these look so good!! i love stumbling across new drink recipes!! this will be perfect for summer.


Jenn May 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

I’m tellin ya, fruit and mint is going to be so hot this summer. You can combine mint with practically anything and it’s sure to taste refreshing!

I made some watermelon and mint martinis last week and believe me: on a hot day, they also went way too fast.

I think I’m going to try a blueberry and mint combo next… 🙂


Allison May 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

Hi Jenna,

How long do you think the syrup will last in the fridge? I still have some strawberry syrup sitting in my fridge that I made right after you posted that recipe awhile ago and I’m afraid to check to see if it’s gone bad.



jenna May 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

That strawberry syrup is fine but I wouldn’t keep this cherry syrup longer than a week unless you go ahead and strain the fruit out. Simple syrups last awhile in the fridge….mine usually last me about a month!


Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac May 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

I LOVEEE cherries! Definitely giving this a try!


Rachel Cooks May 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Perfection! I love fresh cherries…and with those additional ingredients, you can’t lose!


Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

Cherries are my favorite fruit … and this looks delicious!! Thanks for the idea!


Sarah May 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

Yum! I love mojitos! And with cherries?! They sound dangerous…in a good way:-).


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama May 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Oh yes! If only I could find fresh cherries right now! I guess I’ll have to save this for a later date.


Carol May 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Recently found your blog. Thanks for all the great recipe ideas


Urban Wife May 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Mojitos are glorious! I can’t wait to try this variation.


Kelly May 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Yes, Please! I’d like to make one of these tonight!


Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Wow, these look so refreshing!! I am definitely making the mocktail for me 🙂 I had a black cherry mojito at a restaurant here in Las Vegas that was so amazing, and I’m excited to try making a cherry mojito myself!!


Brianne May 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

i live near tampa, what’s the place called?!


jenna May 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

The Columbia!


Brianne May 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

oh, the yummiest!


kyla May 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Omg The Columbia is epic. I’m from Chicago and it is my favorite restaurant ever. Those mojitos are legendary!


erin @WELLinLA May 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Mmmmm summer drinks with fruit infusions. Summer wins against all other seasons, hands down. There is no other season in which fruity drinks or a cold beer are as good as a hot summer day!


Joelle (on a pink typewriter) May 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Mm, my boyfriend who like these! Making them this wkend!


Marina {} May 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Oh this looks so amazing. I LOVE mojitos and a fresh cherry one sounds better than any I’ve ever had before. Cute in the Mason Jar too!


Emily @ Munchies 'n' Marvels May 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Too fun! I’m off the hooch right now, but this seems like a good solution for the last of the cherries I bought from the farmer’s market last weekend. I was just going to mix them in a smoothie, but this seems more fun!


FactFinderSteph May 22, 2012 at 7:05 am

That look Ah-Mazing!!! Your photography is so impressive as well! Taking photos of food is not the easiest thing to do. Actually most food photos are not even of real food! That Mojito has now been added to my Memorial Day bev menu! thanks!


Sarah May 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

Mojitos are my favorite drink, and cherry is my favorite fruit–so this sounds like heaven!


em May 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Ahhhh!!! Definitely making this. I think 90 degrees and mojitos sound amazing.


toorak personal trainer May 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Just wondering if there was a healthy mojito recipe?


Katherine Nelson May 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I love mojitos! I can’t wait to try this cherry one. Thank you!


Debbie May 23, 2012 at 10:09 am

Can I tell you that I had the La Paloma that was the inspiration for your recipe at a certain steakhouse last Friday and your recipe was so much better!!!? I was so disappointed by the real thing. Maybe it’s the way I make them but I’m sticking with yours. Can’t wait to try this.


Megan July 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for posting this fabulous idea! I made these today for the 4th and brought them to a BBQ. Funny story–last week I attemped to make cherry jelly and it did not set right and I was left with a cherry syrup, wondering exactly what I was going to do with it….and then I came across this recipe today & voila! I used the syrup in this recipe along with fresh mint from my backyard. A little sweet due to my “jelly syrup” but very good! Thanks for sharing.


Jasmine July 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Did haven’t your syrup cover a pound of cherries? I haven’t pitted them all and already they are above the liquid level.


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