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zero-proof mojito

All Photos: Ryan Hughley

Zero-Proof Strawberry Mojito


This zero-proof strawberry mojito will make 40 days without booze a breeze

This year, in honor of Lent, we're going to be tackling some of our hardest eating (and drinking) habits to give up. Whether you're abstaining from meat, sweets or alcoholic treats — we've got you covered.

Theoretically, giving up alcohol shouldn't be all that hard, especially this early into the year. After New Year's resolutions and Dry January we should all be in a good place to say farewell to cocktails for 40 days and nights for Lent — except I'm dreading it. In my home, there is nothing quite like shutting down my computer, putting on some tunes (jazz usually), pouring a cocktail or glass of wine, and starting on dinner. 

This is as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth in the morning or showering at night. This year however, I've taken serious stock of my life and it occurred to me that since the age of 25 — I'm 32 now — I haven't gone longer than five days without a cocktail. Couple that with the fact that in six short months I have to shimmy my hips into a wedding dress and I've resolved to give up alcohol for Lent. 

If you don't know, Lent is a religious observation which calls for self-denial of a personal vice, be it meat, candy, shopping, coffee or alcohol. But trust me, you don't have to be religious to celebrate. You can use these 40 days to recommit to a New Year's resolution or just to take some time to tackle a habit you've been meaning to break for a while. 

It's not easy to give up a vice, and in my personal experience the best thing to do, with alcohol at least, is to create the same ritual — cooking with a cocktail — and just get more creative. I've been cutting back on my intake, and I've realized I really do like a good drink whether there is booze in it or not. That's how I came up with this sweet and refreshing strawberry mojito. 

Strawberries are still not quite in season, but for this recipe that doesn't really matter. Just a few fresh berries, mint, lime and sparkling water and before you know if you'll have consumed two zero-proof cocktails without missing out on a thing. 

Strawberry Mojito
Makes 2 drinks

6 strawberries, sliced, plus more for garnish
6 lime rounds
2 springs fresh mint
1/2 ounce agave syrup or honey 
Ice cubes
Strawberry or plain sparkling water, to top off the glass

Divide the strawberries, lime rounds and mint between two glasses of your choice. Muddle the fruit until it releases its juices. Muddle in the agave. Fill the glass with ice cubes, then top with the sparkling water. With a long spoon, stir all of the ingredients together. Garnish with additional strawberries and enjoy immediately.

Author image

Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously.