Wednesday, June 22, 2011


A bundle of inspiration in the form of mint
OK, if I have to admit it, when I saw, no, no, I take that back, when I SMELLED the mint in last weeks City Fresh bundle my first thought was Mojito.  No lamb chops with mint jelly.  No fancy desert with a mint sauce.  Just a mojito.

Then when I found the little bottle of maple syrup mixed among the garlic and onions and greens, my little brain wheels began churning to see if I could use that in my mojito.  I managed to last until tonight to try out my new beverage, and it was really worth the wait.

The Classic Cuban Mojito calls for the mint and some sugar to be muddled together, then the other ingredients are added.  It also classically requires a good Cuban white rum which I seemed to somehow be lacking in my normally well-stocked bar.  So I made a couple of adjustments to accommodate my supplies, put on some Buena Vista Social Club music on the iPod and I'm whisked off to old Havana for the evening!

There are countless recipes for the Mojito (pronounced moh-HEE-toh), but this version I riffed from is for the one Hemingway himself enjoyed at the Mojito's place of birth: La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba.

1 teaspoon maple syrup
Juice from 1 lime (2 ounces)
4 mint leaves
Havana Club white Rum (2 ounces) (I used a good dark rum)
2 ounces club soda
1 sprig of mint for garnish

Place the mint leaves into a long mojito glass (often called a "collins" glass) and squeeze the juice from a cut lime over it. You'll want about two ounces of lime juice, so it may not require all of the juice from a single lime.

Add the maple syrup, then gently smash the mint into the lime juice and syrup with a muddler (a long wooden device pictured above, though you can also use the back of a fork or spoon if one isn't available).

Add ice (preferably crushed) then add the rum and stir, and top off with the club soda (you can also stir the club soda in as per your taste). Garnish with a mint sprig.

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