From nowhere to everywhere, the mojito is currently ruling the roost in pubs, bars and clubs. Perhaps this is because it is long, clear, bubbly and clean tasting and because the big proportion of sparkling water/soda will also help prevent hangovers. Or that’s the way it should be. Fiddle with the ingredients and you might actually have a very alcoholic, highly sweetened drink with very little balancing sparkling water, the way many bars seem to serve it.
The ingredients are simple – fresh mint, sugar or sugar syrup, fresh limes, white rum, sparkling water and crushed ice. What’s not to like?
Wherever there is fresh mint, sugar, limes, white rum, sparkling water and crushed ice.
Choose the best
Using the correct variety of mint is important. Peppermint is best, usually recognised by the black/dark red tint to the stalks. Spearmint has a softer, less sharp flavour that can seem a bit limp and flannel like.
If you want to make Mojitos for later, remove the mint with which you have made it, or this will gradually discolour and might even change the flavour. Add more freshly crushed mint when you eventually serve.
The trick to a great mojito flavour is to crush or muddle fresh mint leaves or sprigs of mint with a little granulated sugar or some sugar syrup, either in individual tall glasses or in a sturdy serving jug. The end of a wooden rolling pin works excellently but anything that will bruise the leaves and release their pungent oil will do. Special muddling sticks are widely available on the net.
After that it’s up to you – a little or large squeeze of lime juice, a measure or much more of white rum, a helping of crushed ice and then a top up with sparkling water and a jolly good stir. Like a martini cocktail, there is no absolute recipe other than the one you prefer.
A golden mojito uses golden (not dark) rum and this gives a more robust flavour as well as a celebratory appearance.