When Teena and I went to Cuba a few years ago, I fell in love with one of Hemingway's favorite cocktails, the Mojito. Our resort made great Mojitos. During a day trip to Havana, we made at stop at the famous La Bodeguita del Medio where Ernest Hemingway was a regular customer and is said to have enjoyed more than a few of this refreshing beverage.
I have been searching Toronto for the best Mojito and so far surprisingly Milestones on John Street has had the best in the city. Always consistently good. I was especially impressed when I ordered one one day and the bartender refused to make it as he didn't have the right rum. Any other place would have substituted but not here.
At home I have experimented with creating my own Mojito recipe and think at last I have it. In it you can use sugar or sugar syrup. You can easily make a sugar syrup buy putting sugar and water into a pot and gently heating until the sugar is dissolved. The syrup will keep very well in a fridge. Some people use 2 parts sugar to one part water. I tried 4 parts sugar to 3 parts water which is supposed to have 1 teaspoon of the syrup equal 1 teaspoon of sugar when called for in a recipe. I use Presidents Choice Organics Sugar (from crystallized organic cane syrup)
First you need fresh mint. Teena and I grew our own this year. Also needed are:
1 1/4 oz white Rum
4 oz Club Soda
2 Tsp lime juice (I use ReaLime Juice not juice from a real lime)
2 tsp of sugar syrup or 1 tsp of sugar
Put 4 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass and add the sugar syrup and the lime juice. Find something to gently crush the mint without breaking it up (called muddling). I use the base of a wooden spoon. Then add the ice, followed by the rum and then the Club soda. Stir and serve.
Making the second Mojito is tricky. What I do is grab a second glass, do my muddling and then pour in the ice and mint leaves from my first drink, add some more fresh ice and the rest of the ingredients. It helps to have a dishwasher.
Refreshing and enjoyable on a hot afternoon. Almost goes down too well.