Mojito – she wears the mint well
Mojito, Mojito, mojito, when I was behind the bar serving, all the staff hated making this cocktail when we were busy. It takes a long time to make properly and is messy to boot. I remember we attempted to speed things up with sugar syrup and fresh lime juice, but the real mojito drinker could spot the deception and would bring it right back. We would remix and hand the cocktail back, quietly hoping the customer would choke on a mint leaf, and not come back for more. I think that this must have put me off the drink and I have never taken to it. My friend drinks them regularly and will happily take a bag full of limes, mint leaves and a cocktail shaker along to a gathering. I have always politely declined her offer to partake.
It was through gritted teeth then, that I made my husband and I a Mojito, as so many people have asked me for a good recipe and I needed to speak from the heart. Oh dear, all those years I have wasted. This a fresh and zingy little number, which is most certainly worth the effort. I prefer mine with a little more sugar than my husband, and I like to strain the leaves out. My friend likes hers more cheek suckingly sour. The below is the basic authentic recipe, after the first one you decide the balance of sweet and sour.
- 1 lime, cut into wedges – when these are too expensive you can use lime juice, but it is not the same flavour as the oil is not released.
- a handful of fresh mint leaves, this is a matter of taste up to 20
- 2½ tsp granulated sugar, or to taste
- 60ml white rum
- soda water to top up
Simply put the lime wedges into a cocktail shaker with the sugar. then put the mint leaves on the open palm of one hand and clap the other hand down on top. Throw them in with the lime and sugar. Use a muddler if you have such a thing, if not a rolling pin, pestle or something similar to Muddle. Muddling is the process of crushing and bruising the leaves and fruit to release the flavours. The sugar helps with this process and I apologise, for every thinking of using sugar syrup in its place. It is all in the muddling.
Add the white rum some crushed ice and shake. I like to stain this over ice, into a large highball glass, but you can pour it all in and add a couple more cubes of ice. Top up with soda, pop in a couple of fresh mint leaves.
I will be most delighted to make anyone a mojito should they now ask and will insist I use real limes and sugar. Chin chin