Mojito, Monopoly and Mushkalica Night

Saturday was a day of good intentions, bad organisation, on the hoof cocktail ingredient making, much laughter and soft warm bread fresh from the bakery.



I am blessed to have some lovely friends. Ones whom will let me experiment on them, subject them to an evening of board games and then let them cook dinner. This evening came about due to a drunken conversation over homemade pizzas at our friends place, and a determination to enjoy more Rum.

I woke up on Saturday morning to realise that I had forgotten how to make Mojito’s, hadn’t looked up the ingredient list, didn’t know where to buy Mint and if it was in season, no shopping list, chores to do and an urge to stay inside.


I threw these aside, and with an on-the-hoof Google search and a backpack, walked to the town centre. I’m never there on a Saturday morning, and the local fruit and vegetable stores blew me away. There were fresh fruit and vegetables as far as the eye could see, and a breadth & depth of varieties that means I will be back soon to check them out properly.

After enquiring after Sugar Syrup, a key cocktail ingredient, in quite a few stores I gave up and turned for home armed with a variety of nibbles, warm French sticks (oh so gorgeous – I’m not sure how they made it home), Rum and bags of Ice.

Thankfully hubby had worked his magic on the house chores whilst I was galavanting, so I set about making a sugar syrup. This is great for cocktails, desserts, adding to hot drinks, possibly using in place of hairspray(!?)… basically where ever you can use sugar, but removes the grainy sugar crystals.

Extreme Jenga. Anything goes.

Sugar Syrup
It’s really easy; take white sugar & water, at a ratio of 2:1 (eg. 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water). Boil the water then add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Once dissolved, turn the mixture down to simmer until all the sugar is melted and you don’t see any at the bottom of the pan & remove it from the heat.

  • If the sugar crystals at the bottom are not going away, turn the heat back up to high and add a tad more water. A couple of tablespoons more water should suffice.

From the research I’ve been doing, if you store it (once cooled) in a sealed container/bottle in the fridge, it will keep from between 3 and 6 months. I let mine cool naturally for about 10 minutes, then placed the pan in a cold water bath (my sink half filled with cold water) in order to hasten the process, as our guests were due in 20 minutes.


  • Sugar mixture will burn and harden if it comes in contact with skin; take precautions to avoid being splashed.
  • Don’t let this sit on the heat for longer than absolutely necessary, or it will burn.

Scrooge McCat, rolling in her winnings…

We settled in for the night to an evening of laughter, board games, drinks, Mushkalica (a Hungarian dish of Paprika & spices infused Pork) and good fun.

I am determined to beat the idea that Januarys have to be grim.

What’s your favourite cocktail?

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