A great summertime drink, the Mojito. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

We’ve been on the road visiting our son at camp and have returned to the usual sea of email and backlog of work. So forgive me for reposting this classic, the Mojito. I’m not sure if everyone has seen the nightly news, but there are reports of a widespread heat wave. Just wanted to make sure you all knew. So if you’re in just about any place in the Lower 48, I definitely recommend preparing this cocktail in its traditional manner, in a highball glass, topped with soda water, plenty of it if temps are in the high nineties where you are.

Originally posted June 8, 2012

I’ve loved seeing the mutability of cocktails simply by changing the spirit during these Friday Cocktail Hour posts. This cocktail is in effect a mint julep made with rum, therefore called a Mojito. Of course what also distinguishes the Mojito from the julep is the lime juice and sugar, the intense sweet and sour. So, does that mean it’s like a whiskey sour with mint and rum? Yes, but no egg white. Or like a daiquiri without the mint? All of the above!

Regardless, this is a fabulous cocktail to make in the summer when the mint is taking over the garden and the heat calls out for a cooling rum drink. Again, I love the effect of the pulverized mint, the powerful minty flavor it brings to the sweet/sour lime, and the vivid, good-for-you greenness. Old school is simply to muddle the sugar and mint. I’ve never liked the scraps of mint floating dirtily in the clear rum, sticking inelegantly to the teeth. Even more reason to pulverize, grinding up the sugar along with it, and strain. Traditionally, club soda finishes the drink, but unless you intend to drink five of them, why dilute the goodness?

So, herewith, a modified version for the hale and hearty.

The Mighty Mojito

  • 10 to 12 broad mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon/15 grams sugar
  • 3 ounces/90 grams rum
  • Juice from half a lime (about 1 tablespoon/15 grams)
  • Wedge of lime for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine the mint, sugar, and 1/2 ounce of the rum in a mortar and pulverize it with a pestle until the mint is a paste and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the remaining rum to the mortar and let it rest while you ready a lowball glass with ice.
  3. Pour the lime over the ice. Strain the rum-mint-sugar over the ice. Press the mint in the strainer to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  4. Garnish with lime wedges, if using.

Serves 1 (1 is just right, 2 is too many, 3, as I learned in New York with the mint julep, is never enough).

If you liked this post on making Mojitos, check out these other links:

© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.