There's something fun about great mixed drinks, and when done properly, they can help elevate the mood of a party or special dinner. If you're looking for a new drink, why not try a mojito?
What is a mojito, you ask? If you like your drinks bright, refreshing, and a little tangy, a mojito is the drink for you. In the simplest of terms, it's a sweet Cuban rum-based cocktail with accents of mint and lime.
The Main Players
For this drink, make sure you have fresh mint sprigs, light rum, sugar, lots of ice, fresh lime juice and some club soda for a little bit of the bubbly stuff.
Add 4 tablespoons of sugar to a handful of mint leaves and bruise with a pestle in the bottom of a shaker to release the flavor of the mint. Add ice to your shaker and top with 6 oz of rum, 6 tablespoons of lime juice, and shake it like you mean it! Pour over ice in a highball glass and add a splash of club soda for a bubbly kick. Don't forget to garnish with a lime wheel and a sprig of mint. This batch serves roughly four party-goers.
Tips for the Perfect Mojito
When using ice, make sure it's made of water you'd drink. For example, if you live where tap water tastes awful, don't make ice out of it. Simply use a gallon of filtered water to fill your ice tray. Remember: Nothing sucks the life out of a drink faster than the taste of over-chlorinated water.
Yes, you have to use light rum. Dark rum has too much "body," and spiced rum has too much of a kick to play well in such a bright, refreshing drink.
Fresh is best! Don't think you can fake taste by using one of those little plastic limes. You really do need to use “fresh-from-the-lime” juice in this drink. Don't want to spend all night extracting the juice from limes while your friends sip away on their drinks? A few hours before the party, juice all of the limes and store in a plastic squeeze bottle. Trust me, it'll make all the difference in the world.
Don't have a pestle? Never even heard of a pestle? Don't skip bruising the mint and sugar just because you don't have the tools on hand. To achieve similar results, add the mint and sugar to a bowl and press down on the mixture with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a cup.
Why chill your glass beforehand? There's nothing worse than a warm mojito. A glass at room temperature will warm up your drink and melt the ice, which is likely to change your mojito from magnificent to mediocre in a matter of minutes.
Variations on a Classic
- Many Cuban hotels have started adding lemon juice instead of lime juice for a brighter, sweeter flavor.
- Mexican Mojitos use a native tequila rather than rum, and often use raw sugar instead of white table sugar.
- You can substitute the lime juice for other juices, such as apple or orange, or you can use a flavored rum like strawberry or lychee.
- Don't like the grit of sugar? A simple syrup will dissolve perfectly in the cold liquid.
Here's a few more mojito recipes to get your creative juices flowing and your taste buds tingling:
So now that you know how to make the perfect mojito, go forth! Drink and be merry—and be responsible while doing so.
Got some mojito moxie? Share your tips!