The Mojito, Cuba's signature cocktail, storied and legendary. Havana nights, Hemingway, El Ron de Cuba. But what's a mojito anyway? Examples abound. Is it the rum drink with the dollop of mint served in trendy bars wordwide - even in the USA? The quality varies; it's even possible to have a terrible mojito in Havana. How do we find the real mojito, el mojito perfecto?
At any casa particular in Havana you can find enthisiatic people about the rum cocktails, daiquiri, presidente, bandera, and of course the mojito. Knowing all too well the demise of quality, they are eager to share his knowledge of the correct formulation. With lime from a tree in the yard, and potted yerba buena, here's a good recipe:
1. Put 1 ½ tsp sugar in a tall 8oz. glass. Place a generous sprig of mint on top of sugar.
2. Add 1 shot of lime juice and a splash of soda water.
3. Macerate the mint vigorously. This releases the oil in the mint leaves, and begins to dissolve the sugar. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
4. Add 1 shot white Cuban rum. Put 2 or 3 ice cubes in the glass. Top up with soda water. Stir again, briefly.
5. Garnish with another sprig of fresh mint. Make it gorgeous.