Mojitos are one of the best ways to cool-off on a really hot day, especially during Indian summers. This Virgin Mojito, a mocktail version, has fresh basil leaves (easily swap with mint) which makes it all the more cooling and refreshing. Just a few ingredients muddled together, you can’t get an easier Mojito Mocktail recipe than this. Go for this Lemon Mojito at once!
Table of Contents
About This Virgin Mojito
An original mojito always uses fresh mint leaves, lemon or lime juice, sugar, white rum and club soda in its preparation. However, I decided to make a mocktail version and a virgin mojito recipe by omitting the rum and add a touch of basil instead of the mint. And the mojito drink simply turned out awesome.
The peppery pungent taste of the basil compliments the tangy citrusy notes of the lemon very well. Lemon and basil together, is surely a winner combination for this Mojito Mocktail recipe. Rejuvenating indeed, in summers.
It is a healthy practice to consume a lot of water and fruit juices during summers. Doing this helps to keep your body well hydrated. It also takes care of your skin, hair and overall health.
But make sure you’re preparing your own fresh juices at home and not drinking the processed ones loaded with artificial flavors and sugar. It’s always good if you are clean drinking too.
You can prepare this Lemon Mojito with water instead of soda. It can also be made in many batches and refrigerated for further use. Makes for a cool non-alcoholic party drink.
More on Mojito
Essentially an iconic Cuban cocktail, mojito is made with alcohol (white rum), lime/lemon juice, mint and soda. It is best consumed ‘on the rocks’ (poured over ice) and is a favored drink during summers.
There are many variations of the authentic spirit-based mojito recipe. For instance,
- Dirty Mojito – made with key limes, dark spiced rum, brown sugar
- Greek Mojito – made with Metaxa, an amber spirit from Greece
- English Mojito – made with Sprite, gin and sometimes has cucumber
- Mojito Royal – uses champagne as an alternative to soda
- Malibu Mojito – has flavors of coconut
However, the one made sans any alcohol is popularly known as a Virgin Mojito. This Lemon Mojito With Basil is one of those. This can also be made with other fruits like pomegranate, mango, orange, litchi, berries, etc.
Basil is a lovely herb. Just like in this Lemon Mojito, the taste, zingy-ness and freshness that basil imparts to any dish, is really amazing. In addition to this, it has some volatile oils which have various medicinal properties and benefits.
I also love basil because it is a versatile herb that can be used to make flavored oils, in desserts or sauces like Pesto or Pizza Sauce with which you can make more delicious dishes like this Pesto Pasta and Pesto Pizza. There’s already this Lemon Mojito recipe as a fab basil-y beverage too.
Not to forget, you can use the fresh leaves just as it is in your salads, as a topping on pizzas, other snacks and starters. A ‘basil steam’ can also help ease stubborn headaches. Boil water with dried basil leaves, inhale the vapors and feel the magic.
How to make Virgin Mojito
1. In a mortar-pestle or in a pitcher/cocktail shaker, take ⅛ cup basil leaves (about 18 to 20 small basil leaves), 2 slices of lemon or lime, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt.
2 tablespoons sugar will make this drink sweet. If you want a predominant tangy taste, then add 1 tablespoon sugar. To make the drink diabetic-friendly, add a sugar substitute like stevia. You can also use honey instead of sugar.
2. Muddle (lightly mash or crush) all the ingredients with a pestle or muddler. Do remove the lemon or lime seeds, if any.
3. Spoon the muddled ingredients in two glasses with all the juices and extract left in the mortar.
4. In each glass, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice.
5. Add some crushed ice or ice cubes.
6. Pour soda, sparkling water or chilled water. You can also add half-half of soda and chilled water. Stir well with a stirrer or spoon.
7. Serve Basil Lemon Mojito immediately.
Though they belong to the same plant family, they are not the same. Thai basil has a unique sweet flavor which is different than the regular basil. However, you can use Thai basil instead in this recipe.
Yes, you can use fresh mint this recipe too.
It may be due to excess tearing or crushing of the basil leaves or mint leaves. Also try not to use the leaves with the stems as these can make the mojito taste bitter.
Of course, you can make this mojito with water too.
You can use sugar substitutes like stevia.
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Virgin Mojito Recipe | Mojito Mocktail
- 18 to 20 basil leaves (small-sized of or ⅛ cup small basil leaves – about 1 gram (alternatively use mint leaves)
- 2 lemon slices – thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice – divided
- 1 pinch salt or add as required
- 2 cups club soda or sparkling water or cold water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or add as per taste
- ice cubes or crushed ice as required
- First rinse the basil leaves or mint leaves in water a few times. Drain all the water and set them aside.
- In a mortar-pestle or in a pitcher, take the basil leaves or mint leaves, lemons slices, sugar and salt. Note that 2 tablespoons sugar will make the drink sweet. If you want a predominant tangy taste, then add 1 tablespoon sugar. To make the drink diabetic friendly, add a sugar substitute like stevia. You can also use honey instead of sugar.
- Muddle all the ingredients with the pestle.
- Spoon the muddled ingredients in two glasses.
- Divide the lemon juice and add in each glass.
- Add some crushed ice or ice cubes.
- Pour soda, sparkling water or water. Stir well with a stirrer or spoon.
- Serve Virgin Mojito immediately.
- Easily swap fresh mint leaves with basil in this recipe.
- Try not to use the stems of the basil or mint leaves as these can make your mojito taste bitter. Even excessive crushing of the mint or basil can give a bitter taste.
- If you are not fond of club soda, replace it with water instead.
- For the sweetener you can add your preferred sweetener.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Virgin Mojito recipe post from the archives first published in April 2015 has been republished and updated on 25 May 2022.