It is June and summer temperatures are upon us this week. While Petite Brigitte is bringing out her hottest sundresses and contemplating Vespa purchases, there is one thing she can’t get off her mind (well, besides that).
It is mojito season.
There are cocktails, and then there are cocktails. A well-made mojito falls into the latter category, yet seldom few mojitos acheive this status. There is more to this drink than slapping together some mint, rum, and sugar. Let’s take a moment and reflect on Mojito’s legendary history.
First off, there’s much debate as to when exactly the mojito was invented and by whom. Many claim it was crafted in Cuba in the late 1800’s. Others elaborate on this theory saying that the mojito was the preferred beverage of Sir Francis Drake as early as the 1500s. According to The Mojito Company’s website, it was English pirate Richard Drake who prepared the first version of the drink using aguardiente (in Spanish that means fire water- the HARD liquor of Columbia), an unrefined kind of rum that he mixed with some sugar, lime and mint. Originally named “El Draque” (or the Dragon after his boss Sir Francis), story has it the swashbucklers introduced the drink to Cuba on their treasure-hunting exploits through the Caribbean and Latin America.
So let’s get to the good stuff. What’s the winning recipe? Based on years of taste-tests, PetiteBrigitte brings you one of the best. Make this for your party guests and you are sure to have a hit:
- In a tall, sturdy glass (or shaker), pour in 1 ounce of your simple syrup. This is 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar (use 1/3 brown sugar), heated until the sugar dissolves (you can use your microwave for this). Then let it steep with one cup of mint leaves for at least 30 minutes before you strain it & store it in your refrigerator.
- Add 1 ounce of lime juice (or a couple of lime wedges), and a handful of fresh mint leaves (6-12 – yes, even if you’ve made the mint syrup. Add several ice cubes (or crushed ice if you have it), muddle it all together with a blunt instrument of your choice.
- Add 2 ounces of light rum, stir passionately or shake vigorously with shaker.
- Pour it into a glass, top it off with a spash (or more) of champagne (boring people use club soda), and garnish with a mint sprig or two.
When you are finished, drink up and enjoy. If you’ve got leftovers, consider a mojito spa:
If all of that was too complicated for you, or you share my level of laziness and impatience… just go to Le Fumoir. They make the best mojito ever, and for a cool variation, ask for the Chinatown.