Most mojito recipes that I’ve come across are prepared in the glass, and then have crushed ice and soda water added to them. This leaves a whole bunch of muddled mint and lime in the bottom of the glass (referred to by a couple of people I’ve met as “foliage”), and it’s not something I’m massively enamoured with. Instead, I like to strain my mojito over a full glass of crushed ice, allowing its wonderful colours and flavours to seep through the entire thing.
Takes five minutes to prepare, then take as long as you want to drink it.
- 2 shots of rum
- Half a lime
- 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
- 10 mint leaves
- A whole bunch of crushed ice
- Soda water if you really want it
Spoon two tablespoons of granulated sugar into your cocktail shaker. Squeeze half a lime onto this, making sure to get as much juice out as you can. Drop the leftover husk of the lime in too. Now throw 10 or so mint leaves in as well (take them off the stalks).
Here’s where the magic happens – muddling the sugar, lime and mint together. If you’ve already got a muddler then great, use that. Otherwise, do as I do and use a simple wooden rolling pin.
Push down into your mixture with your muddler, rotating as you do. This crushes the mint into your sugary limey mixture, releasing its essential oils and wonderful flavours as you do so. Remember how mint leaves don’t really smell of anything until you rub them together in your fingers? That’s what is happening here.
Give it a good bit of pressure, and you’ll only need to muddle for a few seconds. We’ll now leave this to sit for a minute or two whilst we prepare the ice.
Fill the glass you’ll be making the mojito in twice with ice (I use a chunky half-pint glass), and empty this out into a tea towel. Gather the tea towel up to make sure none of the ice can escape, and then give it a few thwacks with a mallet. We use a cheap wooden one – it works a lot better than using the rolling pin again.
Once the ice is sufficiently pulverised, add it to your glass. You’ll find that what once filled the glass twice should now pretty happily fit in just the once.
The reason we crush the ice like this is to increase the available surface area to cool the liquid in the drink. If we do a good job of crushing it, we’ll end up with things getting so cold that the outside of the glass frosts over. Lovely.
As you can see, these mojitos use a lot of ice. For this reason we tend to keep bags of the stuff in the freezer, just for cocktails.
We’re back to the cocktail shaker now, and we’re finally getting to the alcohol.
Add a couple of ice cubes to the shaker, pour in two shots of your favourite white rum, put the top back on and shake roughly. Once you’ve finished shaking and everything’s mixed together nicely, strain into your ice-filled glass.
Your ice will turn green as you pour over it, and you’ll get some tiny pieces of mint seeping through your drink.
At this point, I’d be done. I don’t think that these mojitos need anything adding to them to water them down, but depending on how you like yours you might want to. So, if you want to, add some soda water now.
Finally, add a straw and some mint to garnish, and sip happily.