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Help! Punch bowl of mojitos, how to assemble?

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Okay -- following suggestions on chowhound, I now have a quart of simple syrup flavored with muddled mint. I'm hoping my quart will make considerably more than one punch bow full of mojitos but I've time to make more syrup if you say I need more. The silver punch bowl is polished and ready. The party is tomorrow and I'm expecting about 35 people although not all of them will be drinking mojitos.

I've got enough fresh mint gathered from a friend's garden sitting in a vase to serve mojitos to the universe.

Now, how do I turn all this into drinks. How much simple syrup?
How much lime juice? Can I mix the lime juice in early? Can I mix in bottled lime juice and fresh lime juice (I don't think I've bought enough limes for fresh lime juice across the board but I can run out and buy more tomorrow morning if you say I must. Club soda or sprite? (I know that goes in at the end but how much per bowl full?
I've been looking at recipes but they are all for a pitcher full and this should be at least three pitcher fulls to fill the punch bowl.

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  1. If you don't think you have enough limes, just go buy more now. Bottled lime juice is to fresh lime juice as the green Kraft shaker can of "Parmesan" is to Parmigiano-Reggiano. Not all of your guests will be drinking mojitos, but still you can expect to go through about 70 mojitos. Some people will have an extra (or two) to make up for the people who aren't drinking.

    When I make my mojitos, I use:
    1/2 of a lime
    8-10 mint leaves
    1 heaping teaspoon sugar (1/2 ounce of simple syrup should work just fine)
    2 ounces light rum
    2 ounces club soda

    Sprite is an abomination in mojitos.

    So, for 70 drinks...
    35 limes (this should work out to a little more than a pint of lime juice)
    The full quart of minted simple syrup
    two 1.75 liter bottles plus one 750 ml bottle light rum (My favorite for this is Cruzan; cheaper than Bacardi and tastes WAY better)
    two 2-liter bottles club soda

    Now, a little secret... the oil in the lime rinds is the difference between a good mojito and a great mojito. Once you're done squeezing all those limes, take the spent shells and drop them into the rum. Let them sit overnight. In the morning, strain out the shells and proceed as usual.

    As far as assembly goes, you can either mix everything together with ice, or leave out the club soda and let people top theirs to their liking. Either way, make sure the club soda is cold before opening, otherwise it will go flat in no time.

    Since you have tons of mint, something nice to do is to put a few sprigs on each glass, and have straws cut short so that when they take a drink, their nose is buried in the mint. I do that for mint juleps and it adds quite nicely to the drink.

    1. Did you end up using this recipe for your punch bowl of mojitos? How'd it turn out? Considering doing the same for my wedding.

      8 Replies
      1. re: bethany

        I did use this recipe and got universal praise. Said many "this is a great mojito!" I was also surprised that the cost didn't come to any more than a similar amount of not so expensive wine would have cost -- although the mint was free from a friend's garden which undoubtedly helped keep costs down. Still, with the rum mixed with lime juice and club soda and ice each large punch bowl came to around $22. I did find the 1.5 bottles of Cruzo on sale for $16.99 which helped the price too.

        1. re: susanl143

          Very nice! Thanks for letting me know! Sounds like a go!

          1. re: bethany

            For the sake of completeness, I want to report that the mojito punch was a huge hit at our wedding too. After making the punch base (without soda water), I was pretty skeptical, since it did not look very appetizing. However, our 90 guests went through two punch bowls worth in 1.25 hours! Thank you guys very much for your help. If I had a picture I would attach it, but alas, I don't.

        2. re: bethany

          Odd. 35 limes should make a hell of a lot more than a pint (16 oz) of juice, unless they're tiny or dried out. Maybe it's a typo and JK meant quart?

          1. re: EvergreenDan

            Now that you mention it, I did end up with quite a few limes left over. I squeezed them until I made my pint measure and it didn't take anything like 35 limes.

            1. re: EvergreenDan

              Depends on the size of your limes. I think the source I use for rules of thumb gets quite small limes. I'll have to make some limeade soon and see how my lime yield goes around here.

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                Also depends on how you juice them. Cold citrus seems to give up less juice, for example. And the juicers where you push the lime onto a cone aren't very good in terms of yield. I use one of the bright yellow ones where you put the lime cut side down in a bowl and it pushes it inside out (sort of). Works quite well, although it's a bit more work than some other solutions. I can usually get over an ounce, sometimes close to an ounce and a half, out of a large lime.

              2. re: EvergreenDan

                Good point. Good fat American limes give me at least 1 oz per lime, unless they are visibly dried out when I cut them open. I'm sure limes raised without Jack LaLanne would be less forthcoming.