Originally from Cuba, the mojito has been around for generations, and has become one of the more fashionable and popular tropical cocktails. Once known as the Cuban highball, the mojito calls for five customary ingredients: mint, rum, powdered sugar, lime, and club soda. When making mojitos, try to choose a premium rum like Cruzan, Appleton, or Mount Gay for a truly spectacular cocktail.
Mixing the mojito is very easy. The first step involves putting about 4 mint leaves into a cocktail shaker (also known as a Collin’s glass) and squeezing the juice of one lime over the leaves. Add one teaspoon of powdered sugar and then “muddle” the mixture. You can find a wooden muddle in almost any kitchen or general store. They can usually be found in the same section as the herbs and spices. The muddle is a very important part of making a mojito. It can mean the difference between a really amazing mojito or a drink that’s only so-so. The muddle releases the oil from the mint leaves — the oil is released when pressure is applied to the leaves. Muddling is an art form, and needs to be practiced. Applying the right amount of pressure is very important. You need to be careful not to mash, smash, pound, or grind the leaves. Once you’ve mastered the art of the muddle, you will experience the mojito at its best.
After you’ve muddled the mint leaves, lime juice, and the powdered sugar, add crushed ice to the cocktail shaker. Stir in 2 ounces of white rum and then 2 ounces club soda. Pour the mixture through the strainer, and then garnish your mojito with a mint sprig. Mojitos go down very smoothly, which can be a dangerous thing if you’re not watching how many drinks you’ve had that day. The club soda can be substituted with lemonade or mineral water, and the lime can be substituted, too. Doing this will change the taste of the drink, but you’ll still get the same overall effect. Technically, the mojito is not really a cocktail because the mojito has only one spirit-based component in it. But, to change things up and to give the drink a bigger kick, you can always add more clear spirits. This will also change the drink’s texture, as well. Using vodka rather than club soda is a good choice if you’re looking to change things up. Vodka has almost no taste on its own, and therefore will hardly change the taste of the mojito at all. You can also substitute rum for vodka instead.
The mojito is one of the most refreshing drinks you’ll find anywhere. Although it is most often associated with a sitting by a swimming pool, relaxing in the sun, and a tropical vacation, it can also be enjoyed in a club or a cocktail lounge. The mojito is renowned as a drink that people can imbibe all night long, but be cautious. The drink itself is rather powerful.