A New Taste Of Summer

5 Drinks That Aim to Make Mojitos but a Memory

Todd Thrasher of PX mixes his summer creation, the Strawberry Smash.
Todd Thrasher of PX mixes his summer creation, the Strawberry Smash. (By Michael Temchine For The Washington Post)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 5, 2009

It's one of the divine pleasures of warmer days: backyard barbecuing or sunning at a patio bar somewhere, a summery cocktail in hand.

But this summer, we don't want that cocktail to be a mojito. After more than a decade of downing the rum-mint-and-lime concoctions, we are parched for something new.

Lucky for us, we live in a city with a burgeoning stable of expert mixologists.

Weekend enlisted a handful of the city's most celebrated cocktail gurus -- those known for reinventing the classics and those who approach drink-making like mad scientists -- to make us a new summer drink.

Not the mojito -- the nojito.

Almost 30 cocktail recipes poured in, and we took on the utterly arduous task of whittling them down. We considered the trends, the bartenders' points of view and the city's palate. Then, we tasted (and then we tasted a little more).

Finally, we arrived at the five drinks we offer here, each one truly summer in a glass. One surprises with coconut milk and cilantro; another blooms with lavender and fresh flowers.

During the month of June, you can taste them, too: The bartenders will be serving their nojitos at their respective bars and events (the prices will be in keeping with what they usually charge for a cocktail, $8 to $12.50).

To help you be the star of your summer barbecue, all the participants also generously provided recipes. (Non-drinker? We have virgin versions, too.)

Mojito, meet your match.

To read about each drink and to find its recipe, click on the links in the This Story box above.

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