A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Classic Mojito Recipe

The point of this post is to record my mojito recipe. I had it down last year, but I managed to completely forget my recipe over the winter and have had to spend the past month re-perfecting it.

Easy way to remember it: the Rules of Twos.

For each mojito:
  1. Put about 2 inches of fresh mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass. Smush them up a little with the handle of a sharpening steel, which is the perfect muddler if you're not into buying something as fancy as a muddler.
  2. Mix in a measuring cup:
    • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice, which is about 2 limes' worth of juice
    • roughly 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, depending on how sweet the limes are
    • 2 ounces light rum
  3. Mix. If you're making several, you might as well put it all in a shaker with some ice to get it really well mixed, but for just one I wouldn't bother.
  4. Add ice to glass on top of mint.
  5. Pour lime-sugar-rum mixture over ice.
  6. Add 2 to 5 ounces club soda, depending on desired strength, and mix well.

This is a classic mojito recipe, something surprisingly hard to find online.

Actually, decent drink recipes can be hard to find, period. For one thing, neither the public nor the alcohol industry seems to understand the concept of "parts." For example: the back of the Kahlua bottle in my liquor cabinet instructs me to mix 1 ½ parts Kahlua to 1 ½ parts vodka as the base for a White Russian. I am not kidding.

Here, take a look at the mojito recipe at the official Bacardi site: 1 part rum, 2 parts club soda, 12 mint leaves, half a lime, and half a part sugar.

Now, the whole point of giving a recipe in parts instead of measurements is that it's scalable. If you tell me to mix 1 part Canadian whisky with 2 parts motor oil, I can make one small cocktail or an entire punchbowl full.

I'm serious here: You cannot mix measurements and parts in the same recipe. Mix half a lime with half a part sugar? What if I'm making a bathtub full of mojitos? Is Bacardi suggesting that a lime is a quantity fixed in relation to a part? Cause that would make my head explode.

Moreover: there is no such thing as half a part. Rather than halving the part, you double the parts of the other substances. Instead of "half a part Sweet-n-Low to 2 parts Asti Spumante," you would need to specify "1 part Sweet-n-Low to 4 parts Asti Spumante." That's kind of the whole point.

Astute readers will chip in here to observe that my recipe requires 2 inches of mint but doesn't specify the diameter of the glass, which is equally imprecise. That's true. So here: Use 12 to 22 mint leaves per drink, depending on how much you like mint and how much mint you have.

Also: No, it's not okay to make a mojito with dried mint. That's pretty much the definition of not okay. If you don't have any fresh mint, just drink a stupid beer. Or some rum and soda with a squeeze of lime -- nothing wrong with that. Just like in cooking, you have to let the ingredients on hand dictate what you make. You don't make beef Wellington out of leftover hamburgers just because you're craving beef Wellington and don't have any tenderloin.


It's strange having a one-sided conversation here these past few weeks, Mom. It seems to be leading me to lecture imaginary conversational partners. I wonder where you are today -- crossing into Canada, probably? If you get near a computer anytime soon, tell me what you're eating.

That summer I helped you, Dad, and Russell move up to Alaska, I remember eating in a lot of rural Canadian diners. I ordered a lot of Denver sandwiches. Eat one for me. Tell 'em you want 2 ½ parts egg to one lime's worth of bell pepper on six ounces of toast. See how they feel about that.


Kris said...

I love it when you rant.

We ate out for Moose's Tooth pizza, crab on an Oregon beach, and one northern Indian dinner. Oh yes, and two Country Kitchen breakfasts (we're slow learners. They were abysmal.)

chopper said...

This is an old past, but I just read it today and laughed out loud. Thanks for that.