The Mojito is a Cuban classic guaranteed to inject the feel of summer into the most jaded drinker. This how-to guide outlines Mojito recipes and methods.
What is a Mojito?
Mojitos are a perfectly-balanced combination of a very few ingredients: fresh lime, sugar, mint and a dash of soda result in a refreshing, light, unique and innovative cocktail which appeals to a wide variety of tastes.
A huge part of the cocktail revolution of the 90’s and 2000’s, Mojitos have spread around the world from Cuba to London, Sydney to San Francisco and everywhere in between!
As the well-trodden story goes, the Mojito was one (among many) of Ernest Hemingway’s tipples of choice and one through which he made steady progress while propping up the now tourist-ridden bar of Havana’s La Bodeguita del Medio (The Little House in the Middle). Delightful as their original no doubt is, what follows is my revitalised recipe for the Cuban crowd-pleaser.
The Perfect Mojito Recipe
Creating the perfect Mojito requires a relative minimum of equipment, ingredients and cocktail know-how. No longer is this liquid masterpiece the reserve of bartenders!
- A tumbler/hi-ball glass
- Muddler/wooden rolling pin
- Small knife
- Chopping board
- Crushed ice
Ingredients (per drink):
- Half a fresh lime
- 7-8 good sized, fresh mint leaves
- Two teaspoons/bar spoons of sugar (fine white or coarse brown)
- 50ml/1.5oz white/anejo rum
- A splash of soda water (optional)
- Mint sprig to garnish
- Cut the half lime into segments and add to the tumbler/hi-ball along with the sugar.
- Using the muddler or the end of the wooden rolling pin, crush the lime and sugar to extract the juice and aromatic oils.
- Add the mint leaves and gently bruise to release the flavour and aroma.
- Pour in the rum before adding a scoop of crushed ice and stirring thoroughly
- Add another scoop of crushed ice, stir thoroughly and top with soda (to taste)
- Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and two black/clear straws.
Mixing it up…
The standard Mojito recipe is just that, a standard. Treating the original recipe as a blank canvas opens the drink up to experimentation with everything from raspberries to lemongrass, peaches to coriander. In each case a small amount of the flavoured ingredient is added to the basic recipe, along with a dash of liqueur of the same flavour. Garnish with the ingredient being used for an exciting alternative.
A Luxurious Twist…
For an extra splash of opulence the rum may be replaced by an older, aged rum such as Bacardi 8 year old and the soda by a splash of Champagne!
The end product of this labour of love should be a luscious, ice-cold blend of vivid colour and balanced flavour which even the most experienced bartender would be proud to serve Papa Doble himself.
Remember though that cocktails are the result of experimentation and invention. With this recipe as a starting point let your creativity be your guide.