Mojito Bar - Stocked & ready to roll
The makings of a third-world dirty Mojito ala Mondo.
A year ago I did not know how to make this cocktail. Mojitos were a favorite of Hemingway when in Havana and currently quite popular here in the states. This is a sweet and refreshing Cuban beverage infused with the essence of fresh lime, mint & rum. I wanted to serve these at a garden party last year, stocked the bar outdoors and printed a recipe found online at the last minute (don't do this!). Gave it a go, first batch horrible as my guests told me. A friend from the Virgin Islands commandeered the bar, this is how we make Mojitos in my country... Mes homage to Judy; no finer teacher for all things Caribbean.
This recipe looks complicated; it really is not. I will confess, it is a bit labor intensive though. Make up a batch of simple syrup in advance; bring 4 cups of water to a boil; add 2 cups of sugar; reduce heat simmer a tad & stir; decant & chill. Stock bar as pictured above; only one type of sugar is required; white or brown your choice. I use organic cane sugar.
For each Mojito you will need:
1 tablespoon sugar
6 - 8 fresh spearmint leaves; large to medium
1/2 fresh lime cut in quarters
2 ozs. (60 mls.) simple syrup
1.5 ozs. (45 mls.) - 2.0 ozs. (60 mls.) white rum - 80 proof
Place the sugar and mint leaves at the bottom of a tall tumbler. Crush the mint into the sugar using a muddler or the back of a spoon. For a dirty Mojito, muddle well so that the pieces of mint are very small. Add the simple syrup; stir well. Squeeze lime quarters into glass; drop the limes into the mix. At this point I mix well, pushing down on the lime with a spoon, extracting more juice and some of the oil in the rind. Add white rum mixing well again. Fill glass to the rim with ice; top off with club soda to the brim. Stir well; garnish with fresh sprig of mint if you like; serve immediately.
Serving with a straw provides an even sweeter experience as some of the granulated sugar collects at the bottom of the glass. The finished result should look like this. For a clean Mojito, simply strain the mixture over ice. Each drink contains 250 calories!
* Fresh spearmint is readily available; I grow several varieties and my favorite for this beverage is called "Mint, the Best." Other good choices are "Mint Julep" and "Kentucky Colonial Mint". The fresh mint sold in most American supermarkets is usually a type of spearmint so you are taking your chances if you don't grow the mint yourself. DO NOT use peppermint or any other flavored mint. Spearmint only por favor.
If you drink three of these, and hang out on a garden swing at night - you WILL hallucinate. You've been warned.
Additional note: This is not crystal clear type of mojito you might find at a hotel or nightclub. Oh no, this beverage is awash in more particulate matter than a Haitian sewer.
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