BACKCOUNTRY BARTENDER: Backcountry Cucumber Mojito

Part rum, part minty-goodness. This one will help you hold on to the last warm days of the year in style.
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Part rum, part minty-goodness. This one will help you hold on to the last warm days of the year in style.

Everyone loves a good mojito but if you’re not up for packing bottles of carbonated water and ice for your trip, try this easy and refreshing alternative.

Start with a rum we love: Brazilian Oronoco. Produced by two brothers who use freshmountain sugar cane (pressed only hours after being cut), it’s aged briefly in Brazilian Amendiom wood casks to give it a hint of vanilla and the smoothest of smooth finishes.

Most white rums have quite a bite and are not recommended for sipping but Oronoco is truly in a category by itself; you might even find you love it so much there is no need for mixing. If that’s the case, sip away instead.

The Recipe

2oz Rum, (try Oronoco but other white rums will work)

½ oz simple syrup (equal parts by volume of hot water and sugar, cooled)

1 thick cucumber slice

3-6 mint leaves


At home:

Slice the cucumber and pick 3-6 of your best mint leaves. Put mint, cucumber, simple syrup, and rum into a zip-top bag, and then into a well-sealed wide mouthed water bottle. These ingredients should infuse for at least 24 hours, but it is not an exact science. The longer they are married, the stronger the flavors will become (think jalapeno-infused vodka-- after 3 days of infusing, just looking at it will make you eyes water).

On the Trail:

While hanging out in your zip-top bag, the rum will pick up the flavors of the cucumber and mint, and the cucumber and mint will become saturated with alcohol. When cocktail hour nears, secure the baggie in a cold stream to chill. Once chilled, pour it into a glass, and strain out the cucumber if it’s been infusing for more than two days.

For a fun twist, or to celebrate making it to the top of that fourteener, serve in GSI nesting champagne flute.