Mojito (Not Fauxjito)

April 3, 2010 (Day 63) — Mojito (The Real Deal)

Just like I promised last time when I made a Fauxjito, I’m making this delicious Cuban cocktail from scratch, muddled mint leaves and everything.

Fresh mint is key in this drink.

Hemingway made it famous, that erudite lush, forever marrying the shockingly good idea of drinking heavily while putting words to paper (or in this day and age, words to computer). Much like the Martini, and any number of classic cocktails, this can be made any countless of ways. However, tonight, we’re going to focus on the traditional recipe that came over from Cuba.

(Interesting side note, an amazing woman who I was lucky enough to work with was born and raised in Cuba in the 1950s. Celia would take the time out of a busy news day to talk about her childhood and adolecnse, as she was courted by the young Cuban men with their shiny Cadillacs. Sipping on this drink makes me think of her, turning from her computer as she hunt-and-pecked out her next column. While her voice would waver and crack, her enthusiasm never did. She passed away last year. Celia, this drink is for you.)

One of the greatest women you could ever hope to know.

Anyway, back to the actual cocktail!

For the traditional mojito you’re going to need mint, sugar, lime, rum and club soda. This had been slightly altered for taste:

15 leaves mint

1 tsp sugar

1 oz lime juice

2 oz light rum

Club soda

Place your mint leaves in the bottom of the highball glass. Pour the lime juice and sugar over them, then muddle to bring the flavors out. Most recipes only call for 4 to 5 mint leaves, whoever, in my opinion, those aren’t enough to really get the mint taste across in this drink.

If you don't have a muddler, simply use a wooden spoon.

Once you’ve muddled the mint leaves, add the rum, then gently stir to mix the flavors. Fill your highball glass with ice, then top with the club soda.

And you have a traditional Mojito!

This drink has an amazingly clean, crisp, clear taste to it. It’s not overtly sweet, nor is it overpoweringly kicky from the rum. Bust out some of these next time you’re at the pool (preferably a friend’s pool, not the public pool) you’re sure to get compliments.

However, be forewarned that this is not a super sweet drink. If you need something to take even more of an edge off, I would recommend using tonic water, as that has just a little bit of sweetness to it that the club soda doesn’t.

Por Cuba Libre!

— Mark

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