Monday, July 15, 2013

The Mojito

There's a black squirrel that lives in my backyard. He/she's been busy lately trying to build him/herself a nest where the body of the maple tree forks off into 3 separate, smaller trunks. And the stupid thing is failing miserably at it. Let's call him Georges. You know, for Georges Bizet, because Bizet wrote a famous opera that ... nah, we won't go anywhere near that. Georges is a doofus because the fork in the tree is slanted in such a way that the leaves and tiny branches he breaks off simply slide right off. Yet he keeps going at it mindlessly, never once concerned with the utter futility of what he's doing.

I suppose at this point, I want to do something rather than plan something. There's something very satisfying about executing a task, and actually producing something instead of simply talking about how to do it - you can try to justify how important it is and all that, call it strategizing, but it's all a lie. Useless. Action is all that matters, even if it seems like progress is incremental. And like the stupid black squirrel, the process is sometimes just as meaningful as the end result. He's still at it, by the way, 3 days in.

The Mojito is the first cocktail I really fell in love with. I still can't think of a drink that fits more perfectly with the season. Fresh, vibrant, and with a serious punch, the kind of drink you want to force-feed your woman on a date. It works, trust me, and not in a sleazy way either because the Mojito, when made with good quality ingredients, is stunning. Its origins are a bit murky - some attribute it to Francis Drake, others to African slaves who worked in Cuba's sugar cane fields, but what is incontrovertible is its Cuban roots, and the fact that the tradition calls for hierbabuena. Since it's not readily available outside of Cuba, we settle for mint - the two herbs contribute to drinks of completely different flavours. Both good, just different - which isn't a bad thing.

The Mojito

Havana Club AƱejo Blanco Rum 
Fresh lime juice
Fresh mint
Sugar syrup
San Pelligrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

In a chilled highball glass, place 8-12 mint leaves

Pour 1 ounce of lime juice

Muddle gently with a muddler or pestle to release the oils from the mint leaves

Pour 2 ounces of rum

Fill glass with ice and top up with sparkling water

Pour 0.75 ounces of sugar syrup and stir gently

Mint sprig and lime wheel for garnish, with a straw


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