Mojitos are universal. That’s why travellers love them!
The truth is that most people have no idea what’s wrong with their Mojito either while they’re making them or while they’re sipping them. Until the pleasures of lime, mint, sugar, & rum topped over ice and sparkling water don’t reach you in the perfect proportion or style of preparation, at best, you’re having the Mojito’s thrice removed 4th cousin waiting in line.
However the problem in this art of preparation and proportion lies in the home grown recipe conundrum where all corners of the world seem to have chosen their style of having the minty workhorse whilst ignoring the sanctity of what the Cubans really wanted you to enjoy as you lazed on the beach, cigar in mouth, and wonderful men and women playing volleyball and surfing in the sea.
With pain staking (Pfft…) effort we’ve put together a list of 5 things that typically go wrong with your Mojito either when you’re making it, ordering it, or sipping it.
Grinding Vs. Muddling
No matter who tells you what the two are completely different. Remember, grinding will make you Pudina (Mint) Chutney not a Mojito. To make a Mojito you have to put lime, mint leaves, and Sugar together in a glass and muddle the mixture. Muddling a Mojito mix is the art of light pressing and twisting to release the oils of the mint leaves and the juice of the lime. Crushing or Grinding is going ape sh** crazy on the mixture trying to make the indian household favourite Pudina Chutney. Muddling doesn’t involve breaking the mint leaves or tearing the lime. Watch this video from our friends at MyNSLC about the art of Muddling.
2. You use Sprite instead of club soda
What’s the point of the mint, lime, and sugar to make your Mojito when you’re going to overpower it with a thoroughly sweetened soft beverage? It’s an absolute waste of time. As we said with our post on the myths about Whisky, a Sprite and Cuban rum is flavouring the sprite, we’ve got to do it the other way round!
3. You’re using your grocer’s white sugar which for the love of god will never ever dissolve
You can stir yourself a whirlwind but you’re not getting anywhere with the white sugar. Sugar syrup might be better to use given the ease of dissolving it with club soda and ice. IF you really want to do it authentic use brown sugar but after muddling drop in 10 ml of really hot water. If you really want to understand the difference between brown and white sugar read this.
4. You’re shaking it
No. Mojitos are not drinks made in cocktail shakers. They’re made in a glass or if you’re really serving a large crowd then in a small pitcher. A Mojito is an intimate mixture of lime, sugar, and Mint, topped with ice and rum. You can’t make it into a hodge podge with a million tiny particles swimming in your drink. Yuck.
5. You’re sipping too fast
Slow down there. Your bartender made that drink with due care that delayed his orders a whole lot of time. You’re now going to have to enjoy it until you can request another. Bartenders love making nice cocktails but on a heavy night, you’re giving him a hard time. Moreover, your Mojito will change flavours over the course of the 30 minutes that you should normally sip it. You’re going to feel the minty and lime oils come more into your palate as you wait for the Mojito to mature. However, do drink it before it gets warm.
Here’s an awesome article we found that really summarises the do’s and dont’s of Mojito making and drinking by Jeffery Morgenthaler. Oh, and I almost forgot, we have a mixology session this weekend, 20th of June 2015 at Zu Tisch in New Delhi at 6PM. You can book a spot here. We’re going to be working a lot on understanding the Mojito and other drinks. Come by if you have time.