The Heart of Ardent

The Heart of Ardent: Cuban Cocktails: Make a Mojito

Ardent partner Christopher Comrie loves nothing more than to spend time in Mexico sipping mojitos. Mexico is a lovely place to drink them, but they are a Cuban cocktail. Chris’ father grew up in Cuba, which maybe adds even a little more flavor for Chris, when he drinks them under a warm night sky…

The origin of the cocktail is disputed, but it is widely accepted that it was invented in 1942 at the Bodeguita del medio in Havana. The place was made famous by regulars like Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Neruda, Marlene Dietrich and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but it was also a cultural hotbed in general for journalists, choreographers, musicians and writers. And most went for the mojito…

Most went for the Mojitos…

Hemingway wrote “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita” and the paper it’s written on is still displayed on the wall…

Make one Mojito

INGREDIENTS
*1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Juice from roughly 1 lime — about 2 ounces
4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint
**Havana Club white or Bacardi white rum — 2 ounces
2 ounces club soda

INSTRUCTIONS: Place the mint into a long, tall mojito or “collins” glass, and squeeze the juice into it. Preferably this will be about 2 ounces.

Add the teaspoon of sugar, then gently mash (muddle) the mint into the juice and sugar with a muddler.
You can use the back of a fork or spoon if you don’t have a muddler, but a mortar and pestle is better, to really get the flavor that comes from “muddling” — bruising and cutting the mint with the juice.

Add ice — crushed is ideal, but use whatever you have. Add the rum, stir, and top off with selzer/club soda.

Garnish with a mint sprig, of course!

*If you have a problem with sugar, but can have alcohol, you can always replace the sugar with liquid artificial sweetener. It works well, but of course it’s authentic with real sugar.

**Cuban rum like Havana Club is authentic in the recipe, but if it is not available to you, white Bacardi or good Jamaican rum like Appleton are also great.

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