Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Making of a Mojito

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I infrequently drink hard liquor and when I do, the results are not always pretty.  I can’t handle tequila and don’t really like the way it tastes; I am satisfied with the occasional margarita at the beach.  Gin makes me nasty, although I do like the taste.  I enjoy the occasional vodka martini, and I drink Scotch on long flights to help me pass the time and then go to sleep...and on occasion when I am with my beloved Canadian friends who do like it very much.  We recently returned from Tokyo, where we enjoyed learning about and drinking Japanese scotch; it is no surprise that a Japanese single malt recently won a “best Scotch in the world” prize at a renowned tasting event.  I like calvados, armagnac, cognac, a bit of grappa on occasion, and nothing comes close to being enveloped by a heady cloud of explosive fruit essence when drinking raspberry schnapps in Austria (preferably at the bar at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna after their amazing torte, or overlooking the Danube right after dinner and a late sunset at Schloss Durnstein in....Durnstein ).

But my hard liquor of choice has always been rum.  I seem to handle it well and I love the way dark rum tastes.  I made a lot of trips to Jamaica when I was younger, and maybe that has something to do with the fact that Appleton is one of my favorites,  Never been to Barbados, but Mount Gay and tonic with lime has been my summer drink of choice since college.  It cuts through the sweltering heat and oppressive gray humidity of a Baltimore summer like nothing else.  The tonic has to be Schweppes.  

Part of my family was into horse racing and my grandparents amassed an amazing collection of silver mint julep cups during their multiple trips to Kentucky and the derby.  I ended up with four beautiful ones here in Mexico, that until recently, were more decorative than useful.  But I began experimenting with them, as they seem to really conduct the cold in a way that an ordinary glass can’t.  I stayed true to the mint, axed the bourbon, and came up with this recipe for mojitos that never fails to please, using organic mint, sugar and limes from my neighborhood store, The Green Corner.  It works equally well in 12 oz. glasses I am told, although if you have any metal cups, be sure to use them.

Hungry In D.F. Mojito(1 serving)

-10 organic mint leaves + 1 sprig for garnish

-2 tablespoons organic brown sugar

-2 small organic limes, seeded and quartered

-3-4 oz. dark rum (Appleton or Mount Gay, preferred)

-Club soda

-Coursely chop the mint leaves, and place in the bottom of a tall, chilled 12 ounce glass with limes and sugar.  Crush/muddle mint with lime and sugar until well combined and syrupy.  Fill glass with ice, and pour rum over.  Add club soda to top off glass and mix with bar spoon.  Garnish with sprig. 

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