(Cuban rum, lime and mint cocktail)
This mojito is Cuba's answer to the mint julep — perfect on a hot summer day. Mojitos have been around since at least the mid-1800s. They were reputedly one of Hemingway's favorite drinks. According to a quote attributed to him, those at "La Bodeguita" bar in Havana were the best.
Makes 1 pitcher, or around 6 cocktails
- Sugar -- 1 cup
- Water -- 1 cup
- Mint, stems removed from half -- 1 bunch
- Limes, juice only -- 6 to 8
- Rum, light or dark -- 1/2 of a 750-ml bottle
- Club soda -- 1 liter
- Add the sugar, water and destemmed mint to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Set aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard the mint leaves and strain the syrup into a pitcher. Add the lime juice and as much rum as you like. Chill well.
- Just before serving, stir in the club soda. Serve immediately over ice in cocktail glasses. Garnish with the remaining mint sprigs.
- To make individual portions: Eliminate the mint from the simple syrup and instead lightly crush some mint leaves in each glass. Add crushed ice, juice of one lime, 2 ounces of simple syrup and 2 to 3 ounces of rum. Top off with a splash or more of club soda, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge and a fresh sprig of mint.