Havana Mojito

Recipe by Luis Simón as told to Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Words and Styling by Libbie Summers

I’d only known Luis for a matter of minutes before I stood in his kitchen while he taught me how to make the mojito of his homeland, Cuba. In the short time it took him to make 4 mojitos,  I realized Luis’ himself was just as he described the drink.

“A Cuban Mojito is powerful.”
“A Cuban Mojito is from the earth –it tastes best with water from a well.”
“A Cuban Mojito is proud. It only uses Cuban Rum.”
“A Cuban Mojito is refreshing…not too sweet…just sweet enough.”
Luis Simón

Mojito Recipes, Cuban Drinks, Cocktails, A food-inspired life
Luis’ Havana Mojito
Looking at the photograph, and working right to left gives you an idea of the proportions in this drink.
Step 1: Muddle together, 1 wedge lime, 3 mint leaves and 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
Step 2: Add sparkling water
Step 3: Add rum (yep, that’s a lot of rum)
Step 4: Fill with water and a little ice and stir.
Cuban cocktails, Mojitos, Cocktails, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers, Food Styling


Bermudan Strawberry Mojito

by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong for Savannah Magazine
Model: Candace Brower

If you have never had Bermudan rum, you are missing out. It’s not just for a Dark and Stormy…try it in a Mojito. A Bermudan Strawberry Mojito!

Bermudan Strawberry Mojito
Serves 1

1/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup water
8 mint leave, divided
2 strawberries, chopped
1 ounce Gosling’s Black Seal Bermudan Rum
Seltzer Water

To make simple syrup:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the sugar and the water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, just until the sugar has dissolved. Removed the syrup from heat and stir in 4 mint leaves. Set aside to cool.

To make the cocktail:
In a tall glass, muddle together the strawberries, remaining mint and 1 tablespoon of the mint syrup. Stir in rum. Top with ice and finish with seltzer. Stir and serve.

Strawberries, Spring, Dinner Party, Flowers, Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life

Rhubarb Bellini

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Assisted by Candace Brower

Rhubarb is no different than any other fruit and vegetable in season. It comes all at once and you don’t always know what to do with it. This puree is perfect for keeping in your freezer and mixing in a variety of desserts (like my Rhubarb Profiteroles or Ginger Rhubarb Pie). For now, just make a puree so you can raise a glass this weekend.

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Bellini, Cocktail recipe, Rhubarb

Rhubarb Puree
makes about 3 cups

3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb pieces (leaves removed)
1 cup light brown sugar
Juice and zest of 1 large orange

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan add all the ingredients and cook over medium-high heat until the rhubarb is tender (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add cooled mixture to the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
Rhubarb Puree will hold refrigerated for 10 days or frozen for 120 days.

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Bellini, Cocktail recipe, Rhubarb

Rhubarb Bellini
makes 1

2 ounces fresh Rhubarb Puree (recipe above)
3 ounces Prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled
Rhubarb stalks to stir (optional)

Add Rhubarb Puree to the bottom of a champagne flute or other small glass. Pour Prosecco or sparkling wine over. Stir and serve.

Iced Malted Cherry Coffee

Styling by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

When you didn’t get quite enough sugar on Valentine’s Day, this deliciousness will do the trick! A little jolt of espresso, a lot of malted milk, the slightest cherry and a whole lot of goodness! 

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Chia Chong, Iced Coffe, Desert Drink, Cherry Coffee

Iced Malted Cherry Coffee
(a dessert coffee drink)

What you need:
1 cup brewed espresso
1/2 cup malted milk powder
2 teaspoons cherry syrup (yes, that “cherry syrup”)
Whipped cream (I colored mine pink)

What to do:
In a large Mason jar, add hot coffee and malted milk powder. Place the lid on the jar and gently shake the contents until the malted milk powder is dissolved. Place jar in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and add cherry juice. Shake again. Pack two glasses with ice and pour coffee mixture over. Garnish with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a dusting of malted milk powder. Serve immediately.

Libbie’s Food Styling Props: Burlap Coffee Bag I poached from Perc coffee while we were there doing a podcast, Vintage Mason Jar with Zinc lid purchased from Habersham Antiques Market, Hermes Ribbon from where else, Vintage silver iced tea spoon purchased from an Antique shop in Annapolis, MD that I can’t remember the name of (it’s on Maryland Avenue and the owner is British), black straw liberated from a coffee shop in North Carolina that I would rather not mention since their significant straw loss could be traced back to me.

Le Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

I look forward to the first day of the year that’s JUST chilly enough to have an excuse to make Le Chocolat Chaud. In Savannah, I’m typically waiting 2 months past the rest of the country. But yet, I wait.

If you are chocolate shy, this hot chocolate is probably not for you. Not because it’s too sweet or too rich, because French drinking chocolate is neither. It’s typically made with whole milk (not cream) and the best chocolate your francs can buy. So it’s real chocolate you are drinking/sipping, and it’s heaven. I’m not going to lie, I like to drop a store bought marshmallow in at the end and a sprinkle of flake sea salt. Because no matter how much Le Chocolat Chaud I drink…I’m still from Missouri.
French Drinks, Drinking Chocolate, Chocolate Recipes, Libbie Summers, Chocolate Drinks, A food-inspired life
Le Chocolate Chaud via Missouri
serves 4 (France) 2 (Missouri)

What you need: 
2 cups whole milk
5 ounces best quality possible bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Pinch of flaked sea salt
Homemade marshmallows (optional)

What to do: 
Add milk to a medium heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Whisk in chocolate and stir until melted. Add sugar and continue cooking and whisking for another 2-3 minutes.

To Serve: Divid mixture between two cups and sprinkle each with a bit of sea salt. Float a marshmallow on each if desired.
Hot Chocolate, Dessert Party, French Party, Libbie Summers Parties,

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