There is still time for one last toast to summer. These last sunny, warm days remind me that all too soon, we will say goodbye to fireflies, days by the lake and eating outside and must say hello to steaming bowls of soup or chili. This week, however, summer is holding tight and it is fiery hot outside so I think an icy, summer cocktail is in order. This time, however, I am serving it up as an adult-only snow cone.
I do not have young kids playing in the yard, so maybe I am missing those fun days of scooping ice cream cones, red snow cones and Popsicles for my girls and the neighbor kids. Maybe the summer heat has taken its toll and it is just so hot that I wanted a super cold drink. Either way, the sipping and ice crunchy goodness is just what I needed today. Besides, these adult snow cone cocktails are pure fun.
The cocktail base is easy to make and the intense red color is inviting. If kids are nearby, make a batch and leave the rum out—they will love the minty cherry limeade snow cones. Make up a batch—then if you don’t have a large gathering, you can keep the syrup, covered, in the refrigerator for about a week so it is ready when you invite the neighbors for a spur-of-the moment refreshment! Don’t let a lack of snow cone cups or powdery, shaved ice stop you. Just make the cocktail syrup and fill small glasses with crushed ice and toast the last summer nights. Cheers!
Cherry Mojito Snow Cones
1 package (12 ounces) frozen sweet pitted, no-sugar-added, cherries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup white rum
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
Finely crushed or shaved ice
Combine the cherries (with any collected juice from thawing), sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir well. Heat, uncovered, over medium heat until boiling. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Occasionally while cooking, use the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the cherries to release their juice. Remove from heat. Immediately stir mint into cherries and use back of the spoon to bruise the mint to release the most flavor. Set aside to steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
Pour the cherry mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Use the back of the spoon to press gently to remove all juice. Discard cherry-mint mixture.
Stir rum and lime juice into cherry syrup. Refrigerate syrup 2 to 3 hours or until well chilled.
To serve, scoop rounded scoops of finely crushed or shaved ice into snow cone cups or small glasses. Drizzle syrup over ice. Serve immediately.
Makes 2-1/4 cups syrup or about 6 to 8 snow cones.
Tip: For a nonalcoholic version, omit rum.