The Ultimate Summer Mojito To Make This Memorial Day Weekend

You’ve got the BBQ fired up and your friends on the way, but no party is complete without a kickass drink that will impress your guest. While margaritas and rose are surely right up there on the list of what you could serve, we think this spin on the classic mojito will really get the party started. So, we asked go-to drink expert, Claire Thomas, to share one of her absolute fave cocktail concoction: a seasonal cherry cocktail! Cherries have been sitting in piles at the farmer's market so why not put these sweet-tart fruit to use as they are the perfect counterpoint to rum, and stand up to mint deliciously well. We promise this drink is the ultimate summer sipper—enjoy!

For one pitcher (12 drinks):

3 lbs black cherries
20 mint leaves
3/4 cup simple syrup
1 1/2 lime juice
750 ml soda water
18 oz white rum

To make simple syrup, simmer equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Halve and pit the cherries, and place them in a bowl. Cover them with the simple syrup and lime juice and allow them to macerate for at least one hour, but no longer than one night (you don't want mushy fruit in your drink). When you're ready to serve, tear up the mint leaves and place them in a pitcher, add the rum and macerated cherries, a couple of cups of ice, and top off with the soda water to taste. Pour and garnish with a sprig of mint, and enjoy through a straw.