The Mojito. It needs no introduction. If you’re browsing this blog then chances are you’re interested in cocktails. And if you are, you’ll be well aware of the Mojito. Hopefully you’ll have your views on it too. And regardless of what we all think it is a crowd pleaser par excellence. For my cocktail making business, it is simply an evergreen favourite. It doesn’t matter the time of year, it doesn’t matter the age profile of the guests and often customers don’t even know how to pronounce it. But they do know they like it.
And yet it is an enigmatic cocktail. I use the word ‘enigmatic’ advisedly. First it doesn’t really fit any definition of a cocktail. I write elsewhere about the definition of a cocktail, but whatever you’re thinking about cocktails chances are you consider them as something with 2 or more alcoholic ingredients. Otherwise you’re in gin & tonic or rum & coke territory. Yet the mighty Mojito only has one alcoholic ingredient – white rum.
We used to use Bacardi in our Mojitos. A safe choice. We’ve now switched to using Havana Club, which I think is much better. A more characterful flavour. The clue is in the colour, it’s slightly yellow (compared with Bacardi’s colourless look) and the label which mentions that it’s been aged for 3 years. So it is more mellow and characterful – and a similar price too.
The other great quality of the Mojito is that it features some big flavours. No subtlety here and of course the predominants are entirely natural. A herb and a fruit. A winning combination. Lots of lime and mint leaves with the rum to give it some happy juice and sugar or simple syrup. Admittedly most bars use simple syrup but we use gran. sugar in ours, as our Mojito Meister claims it helps provide some grit to break down the mint and limes. Sounds reasonable.
Then topped off with a little soda. We ensure we only add a splash, so around 50ml to the cocktail built in the glass. The easiest way to ruin a Mojito is to water it down with too much soda water. Or equally too little mint or lime. Don’t be tempted. It is an inexpensive cocktail to make in any case so there is no need to cut corners. Plenty of lime and mint plus the rest to make what is quite simply a sublime (pun intended) cocktail. Is it one of my favourites? Ah well that’s a different question.