Every hash joint in Moscow is now sporting an array of non alcoholic Mojitos to lure the soft drink at dinner crowd into the fancy drink price category while actually giving them less bang (no booze) for their buck. It goes without saying that the spiritless Mojitos are comparable in price to the more spirited, although its anyones guess how much alcohol they actually put in them when they are supposed to be 'loaded'.
My inspiration comes from the variety of slushy concoctions that have arrived, many that taste pretty good. I especially appreciate the more tolerant attitude many Russian establishments are taking towards the use of ice. Yes, many places actually now put ice in their drinks and this is, more than the exotic nature of the drinks, what draws normal people to Mojitos when it is 34 outside. I was truly inspired by one establishments combination of pomegranate juice and orange juice. This reminded me of Abkhazia and . . . voila, my original Gagra Hotel was born.
1 liter pomegranate juice
1 liter orange juice
juice of one lemon
1-2 cups sparkling mineral water (or 7 up)
tons of crushed ice
Mix the liquids in a pitcher and pour into tall glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of orange, lime or lemon as desired.
It may seem like a lot, but you will find that on a warm day two people can take down a pitcher of Gargra Hotel in just a few minutes.