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.


Crowdedmind (2)
The sugar was originally added to cover the taste of the poor quality rum.  The lime added to help the sailors that drank it with scurvy.

Continue reading “Cocktails”


cropped-cocktail-header1.jpgMai Tai

Would the real Mai Tai please make yourself known!

I enjoy the flavours of both orange and almond and use white rum in many drinks, so I could never reconcile the involuntary shudder, accompanying a stick your tongue out NO, whenever I was asked if I wanted to try a mai tai.  I first tried this cocktail somewhere hot, at a beach bar, sometime in my early twenties.  Clearly, I do not recall the details but I was left with a vivid recollection, that this was an overly sweet and alcohol tasting drink, never to be repeated.  There are many versions out there.

A happy accident then, that one balmy night, at a trendy cocktail bar in London’s Covent Garden, I sipped a friend’s drink and told the barman, with absolute confidence, that I would have what my friend was drinking.  “A mai tai, right,” he said, reaching under the counter for his shaker.  “No”,  I replied, “one… of…. those”, slowing my speech down and pointing to the drink, as he was obviously slow on the uptake.  “Yes”, my friend confirmed, “a mai tai”.  The barman raised his eyebrows and I was forever hooked. Continue reading “Cocktails”