Nothing says summer is coming to me more than when my four mint plants start producing gigantic leaves. Of course in the South, this means summer starts in May and ends around late October. Now any sane person would wonder what they would do with so much mint or why they don’t just have one plant. Luckily, I am a complete lunatic when it comes to mint and the delicious drink called a mojito.
Sure I make the regular batch of tabouleh and mint is excellent with fresh vegetables like zucchini and carrots or steeped in tea. Still, most of the time my plants are sating my need for a refreshing mojito.
Naturally, I have perfected the recipe for this drink. Or at least perfected it for myself. A close friend of mine, who is a bartender, prefers to use a muddler and soda water. I feel these reduce the flavor of mint and lime. Of course my version may be a little strong for some so I included both methods.
- 1/2 lime
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 5-8 fresh mint leaves (about the length of your pinky)
- High quality clear rum (at least Cruzan)
- 1 Collins glass
- 1 muddler *optional*
- Soda Water *optional*
Squeeze lime into bottom of glass. It should create about 2 1/2 to tablespoons of juice. Add powdered sugar. Incorporate with lime juice. Add mint leaves. Using the back of a spoon gently crush mint into liquid. Do not break the leaves. You want to release as much mint flavor into the liquid as possible without tearing the leaves. This is the heart of an excellent mojito and will take practice. Fill glass with ice. Add rum until glass is almost full. Stir with spoon till mixed making sure mint leaves do not rise above the top most layer of ice. Drink and enjoy.
Or do this instead.
Cut lime half into 6-8 wedges and drop into glass. Add powdered sugar and mint leaves. Add enough rum to fill 1/3- 1/2 the glass (depending on the strength you prefer). Taking your muddler (looks like the fat end of a drumstick) press ingredients together to extract lime juice and crush mint. Do not overdo it (4-6 presses total.) Fill glass with ice. Add soda water to fill glass. Mix with spoon or pour from one glass to another until incorporated.