Did you notice all of the mint and lime in that glass? What a marvelous combination! Whoever came up with that is a genius.
I'm a big fan of Mojitos, and given that mint is so prolific, we get to enjoy them frequently throughout the summer. I know that some of my readers don't drink alcohol, so it's worth saying that they are delicious with or without alcohol.
And you know what? They are actually inexpensive, despite what you may pay at a bar. One Mojito will cost less than $2. Going sans-alcohol? One Mojito will cost you less than $1!
So let's get started! There are a few steps, but really, once you make one or two, you'll be a pro.
The key to a good Mojito is taking the time to gently muddle the fresh mint leaves with a couple of lime wedges and the simple sugar so that you extract the flavorful oil from the mint leaves. If you skip this step, you'll end up with a sweet limeade as opposed to a minty limeade. The muddling of the mint makes all of the difference.
Add the rum (if you're using it), and a big handful of ice. Shake everything vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. You want that baby to be cold. I don't real bar equipment, so I just use a mason jar. Prior to owning jars, I used two glasses. Just use what you have.
Add a splash of soda water, gently stir, garnish with the last lime wedge, and enjoy!
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce simple syrup (recipe below); or, if you must, use 1 tsp sugar
1 large pinch of mint leaves-- don't skimp
2 ounces rum
2 ounces soda water
It's best to start with cold ingredients so that you don't melt all of the ice when it comes time to add it.
Cut the lime into quarters. Squeeze three lime wedges into the glass or jar. Put a generous pinch of mint into the jar (see the first image for an idea of how much), and add your simple syrup (or sugar). Take your muddler (or if you're me, a wooden spoon), and gently crush the mint leaves against the lime wedges. Your goal is to extract the flavorful oils from the mint leaves but not bruising them.
Add the rum, a big handful of ice-- about 5-7 large cubes-- and shake your drink vigorously for 10-15 seconds to get it nicely cold and mixed. Transfer it to a glass or whatever you're planning on drinking out of.
Add up to 2 ounces of soda water, garnish with the last wedge of lime and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!
Add equal parts water and granulated sugar to a saucepan, and heat over medium until all of the sugar has dissolved. Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to 2 months. Preferably, cool completely before using in a mojito so that it doesn't melt the ice.
*Simple syrup will be clear unless you use cane sugar like I used. Your drinks won't look quite as crisp and refreshing with the darker syrup than it would with white sugar simple syrup. The flavor of cane sugar simple syrup is much more subtle and naturally sweet than simple sugar made with white sugar. I like both, and I may even prefer the white sugar version better than cane sugar in this application.