Joys of Rum, Volume 1: Mojito Revolution

In the summertime when the weather is high… it is time to have yourself a Mojito! Ice cold, super refreshing and not overwhelmingly sweet – what’s not to love?! This drink is prepared so quickly you won’t even have a chance to break a sweat! Do you still need convincing since you kinda like this drink but just don’t quite manage to love it? Well… Let’s work on that then 😉

As long we’re still sober, here’s a little fun-fact about the Mojito: While this traditional Cuban long drink can be tracked back to the 1930ies, it has only grown very popular over the last few years.

There are different opinions about the meaning of the word Mojito (the word “mojo” means sauce – this had some people think that “Mojito” – accordingly – means “little sauce”. My guess is they had one too many beforehand. Luckily I stumbled across a different meaning later on: “Mojito” can be translated into “little spell/charm”. I stopped right there and didn’t even bother to check the credibility of the source. Let’s just roll with that. And do some magic.

Before we drop the fun facts and turn to just the fun: Opinions also differ very much on how to exactly make a proper Mojito. Delicate subject it seems – you can make yourself some serious enemies by changing a recipe that is cast in stone. But curiously I still haven’t learned to resist the forbidden fruit. 😀 Especially when there is so much fun to be had!

So here’s the recipe I came across the most during my research, let’s call it “The Classic”:

–          2 parts white rum
–          ½ fresh lime
–          10-12 fresh mint leaves
–          2 tea spoons fine sugar
–          Club soda

Equipment:

–          Highball glass
–          Spoon
–          Muddler

How to mix it:

  • Cut lime into wedges, put them into the glass, add the sugar, muddle to release the lime juice
  • Slap mint leaves over wrist to bruise them and release the aroma
  • Drop the mint leaves into the glass, take the spoon and gently(!) stir and leaves in the lime juice
  • Fill the glass half with crushed ice*
  • Pour in the rum
  • Stir the drink until the sugar has dissolved
  • Top off with Club Soda, stir and garnish with a sprig of mint

I don’t know about your but I can already hear the steel drums and the sound of the ocean.

Mojito 5

And now… let’s stray a little…

Let’s start slow by replacing the white rum with a dark/aged rum. It gives it a slightly spicier taste and – obviously – a different look. Another quite innocent change is replacing the sugar with simple syrup**. Doesn’t change the taste much, really. Just saves you some stirring.

If you don’t want to add sugar or syrup ‘cause it’s simply too…simple – try and replace the soda with tonic water or ginger ale (ha! I guess here’s where the real blasphemy starts)!

Also a great seasonal additive to the Classic is to fancy up your drink with berries of your choice. Slightly muddle them or – if you prefer not to have anything clogging your straw – work the berries through a strainer with a spoon to collect the juice only. Decorate with some berries.

If you decide to go with straw- or raspberries try replacing the club soda with sparkling wine.

To add a little extra Caribbean to your drink add chunks of pineapple to your limes before you muddle them. Careful with the sugar/syrup as this will sweeten your drink quite a bit.

Or add some Caribbean taste by replacing half the club soda by coconut water.

A colorful different direction is to replace 1/3 of the rum by Blue Curaçao. Decorate with orange peel.

If you are more into very spicy drinks – worry not! If you’re one of those ginger loving people I recommend you add a little ginger syrup instead of sugar/simple syrup. A dash of cayenne pepper will also do a lot to add hotness to your Mojito.

All the citrus fruits work quite well to give the Mojito a little something extra (Kiwi, grapefruit, oranges,…) but one problem that comes with fruit in general is that pieces or fibers will get stuck in your straw or – much worse – in your teeth.

Luckily there a great solution for this problem ;). Granted, if you’re drink is more solid than liquid even this guy will meet his limits. But at least you can safely keep smiling without worrying about your teeth!

So which Mojito is your favorite?

Drink it in! Cheers!

 

*if you do not own an ice crusher simply put ice cubes into a plasic bag and smash with muddler. It’s noisy but does the trick 😉

** to make simple syrup just heat 1:1 or 2:1 sugar and water and stir until sugar has completely dissolved or get it online

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