A great example of "less is more".
If there's one comment I receive most about Bamboo Sam's posts, it's, "The drinks look so good but I never have all of the ingredients to make any of them!" So, this week I bring you the Mojito. Not a technically a Tiki drink but definitely tropical, and best of all, it only requires 1 rum and 4 other ingredients that can be found in any grocery store.
My introduction to the Mojito came from a a restaurant by the name of La Duni's in Dallas, Texas. This would have been more than 20 years ago, so I can't speak to the current state of affairs there but back then you would go in and the bar back would have glasses lined up 4 or 5 deep on one end of the bar. Each contained mint and lime wedges ready for muddling at a moment's notice. They were served with pebble ice in a tall skinny glass that somehow seemed full until you suddenly realized it was empty! I never did master the ability to order another without running out of my first drink before the second arrived. During this time, Mrs. Bamboo Sam was in law school and restaurants were the one way in which we splurged, and man did we blow some dough at La Duni's.
As with most cocktails, the key to a good Mojito is quality ingredients. Fresh limes and mint are a must. If anyone ever offers you one using a "mojito" or mint syrup; punch them in the throat, take their rum, and promptly leave. Sometimes one must remind others that we live in a civilized society.
I really don't measure the ingredients of this drink in any quantitative way. I just mix it in the glass; after all we're going for simplicity here. In the interest of uniformity, I've tried to back my system into measurable quantities but I'd suggest using the following instructions to make your Mojito.
Cut a lime into wedges and drop 3-4 into the bottom of the glass
Add 6-7 large mint leaves
Add a splash of rum and muddle the mix
Fill the glass with pebble or crushed ice
Add 1 ounce of simple syrup
Fill the glass to the 1/2 way mark with rum
Top off the drink with mineral water
Dump the entire lot into a mixing tin, stir, then return to the glass
Source - Bamboo Sam
3-4 lime wedges
6-7 large mint leaves
1 ounce simple syrup*
2 ounces light rum*
4 ounces mineral water*
See my instructions above for how to put it together. Be careful muddling your lime and mint. Too much pressure will release the bitter juice and oils from the lime pith and break your mint into tiny pieces that clog your straw and get stuck in your teeth! Garnish is a mint sprig.
*Bamboo Sam's customizations - If you visit here often, you know what's coming, I use Cruzan white for the rum. For the Simple Syrup I like a 1:1 pure cane sugar syrup in the Mojito. It's light and keeps the flavor focused on the lime, mint & rum. If it's too tart for you, don't just dump in more simple syrup. Turbinado or demerara syrups can add a more rounded flavor without upping the sugar content. I typically prefer Perrier for mineral water but I like Topo Chico Mineral Water in Mojitos. It's a bit more effervescent which I like given that it's half the drink.