Ever since I wrote a mint cocktails story for Easter, I’ve had the refreshing spring herb on my mind. So, I popped in to Mercato today and grabbed a bunch, then I stopped off at Zyn on my way home for a bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse Silver and voila! I had the makings for a mojito.
I tried my first mojito at an all-inclusive resort years ago and got hooked. I love the way mint completes this cocktail. It would be good with just rum, sugar and lime juice, but add mint and enjoy another level of complexity. It’s no wonder Cuba quickly nabbed the mojito as its national cocktail and, incidentally, Ernest Hemingway couldn’t drink enough of them.
The secret to a good mojito is the muddling. Some bartenders will utterly pulverize the mint (I had the misfortune of sampling my first and last blended mojito in Mexico last month. Truly, it was awful), but that’s overkill. Bruise it just enough to release the oils and you’re gold. Enjoy!
- 12 fresh mint leaves
- 1-1/2 oz light rum
- 1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup*
- Top with soda water
- Mint sprig and lime wedge garnish
Lightly muddle mint in the base of a Collins glass. Add rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Half fill the glass with crushed ice, then stir with a bar spoon to bring up the mint. Add more crushed ice and stir again. Top with soda water, stir again and serve with a straw to avoid mint-tooth.
*To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.
— Recipe adapted from Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford