|Making a fresh mojito is so easy! Here's how to make one.|
The Perfect MojitoI have loved mojitos since the first time I ever tasted one and while Cuba may have been the birthplace of the mojito, they always make me think of Miami and the Florida Keys. What a beautiful drive that is between the two, and that 7-mile bridge to Key West, a place so laid back that even the dogs saunter around so slowly they appear to be sleepwalking and the few traffic lights seem almost lazy. Where people get around on bicycles and scooters and nobody is in any kind of a hurry.
Traveling that long road, you are completely surrounded by hues and shades of blue and green that it seems no human eye could possibly have ever really seen before elsewhere, and water so clear it's as if you can see all the way through to the other side of the world. It's breathtaking and captivating and it will bring tears to your eyes because it is truly one of the most beautiful places in this country. Our own little tropical paradise.
And what fun. Days spent snorkeling off of a reef and making friends with barracuda and nurse sharks, odd looking, fluorescent fish so close you can touch them. Starting your evening with a champagne sunset sail on a schooner, then dinner of conch fritters or chowder, escargots in a buttery, garlic sauce with mushrooms, stone crab claws dipped in drawn butter, Key West shrimp or fresh catch of the day. Ending the night over live music and cocktails at Sloppy Joe's. Oh take me back now!!
In truth, if I close my eyes, I can transport right back to the Pier House Resort, in a chaise lounge by the pool bar, engulfed by a jungle of tall palms and tropical plants, sipping on a mojito, and listening to a band playing songs of the islands, the night sky so clear that you could see every star forever.
Recipe: The Perfect Fresh Mojito©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 5 min | Yield: Makes 1
- 8 to 10 mint leaves
- Juice of one lime
- 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of simple syrup, or to taste
- 2 ounces of good rum
- Ice to fill glass
- Club soda
- Lime curls and extra mint leaves, for garnish, optional
In a tall highball or collins glass, add the mint leaves. Top with fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Muddle a few times, just enough to release the oils of the mint but not to pulverize them. Add 2 ounces of rum on top and fill glass with ice. Top it off with club soda and stir well. Can also muddle in a shaker and then strain into a glass.
Mojitos are great to make by the pitcher too because the flavor only improves as it sits. A two quart pitcher will serve about 8 drinks, so just increase the recipe to serve 8 and prepare in the pitcher instead of by the glass.
If you don't happen to have fresh club soda on hand, a lemon-lime soda like 7-up or Sprite works as a fine substitute. Also works well with Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice, if you don't happen to have fresh limes, but you may want to reduce the amount of simple syrup.
Cucumber Mint Mojito: For each glass, puree 1/4 of a medium, peeled cucumber with the lime juice. Muddle with the mint leaves and proceed as above.
Variation: Muddle a quartered tangerine (satsuma) with the mint leaves.
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Pat O'Brien Hurricane