This recipe was inspired by two things: the abundance of mint in my garden and the gorgeous vintage cocktail (highball) glasses I scored in an antique store on our recent girl's weekend in Vermont. With the veritable forest of fresh mint and basil, there was really only one drink I could make (okay, the basil bit was an experiment but you get the picture!)...
While searching online for a simple syrup recipe (I always forget the ratio of sugar to water - I like mine not too sweet so I use a 2 parts water to 1 part sugar) I came across some hilarious tips from Bartender, Mixologist and Blogger, Jeffrey Morgenthaler
. Below are some of his 'rules' for the perfect mojito...
The Dos and and Don'ts of Mojitos
use crushed ice in your mojitos. Crushed ice will melt faster, which is a good thing in a drink with such strong flavors. The extra surface area of crushed ice also means a colder drink.Do not
use a pre-made mojito mix out of a bottle. This is one drink you want to do right.Do not
over-muddle the mint, or muddle the lime with the ice cubes. These are strictly amateur moves.Do
try Bacardi rum in your mojitos. For many of us, it is the closest thing we can get to real Cuban rum.Do not
use dark or gold rum in your mojitos. They can muddy the flavor tremendously.Do
use bottled mineral water in place of seltzer water. Remember, garbage in, garbage out.Do not
order a mojito when there is a line at the bar. Your bartender is probably not going to put a lot of love into it. In fact, you might get just the opposite.
Do not have ten mojitos tonight. At around 150 calories each, that’s like 1500 calories, there, fatty.Do not
order a mojito at a dance club, sports bar, drink stand, airport bar, OTB saloon, chain restaurant or fraternity house. You’re just going to end up being disappointed.Do
order a mojito on a warm summer evening.Do not
order a mojito when the weather is below 70°F. This is almost as bad as ordering a Bloody Mary
after the sun has gone down.Do
slowly sip a mojito and enjoy the way the flavors meld over time.Do not
slurp down a mojito in less time than it took your bartender to make it. You’re probably already on the back burner for ordering it in the first place, and it’s going to be a while before you’re allowed another.With all that in mind, here is my recipe, (which may have Jeffrey in tears as he seems a bit of a purist!) but I thought was delicious!
Lemon Basil Mojito
Handful fresh mint/spearmint leaves
1 sprig of basil leaves
1 part simple syrup
2 parts Cuban rum
1 part lemon juice
3 parts sparkling mineral water
Muddle basil and mint in the bottom of a tall glass along with simple syrup. Don't overmix!
Add rum, lemon juice and sparkling water and top with crushed ice.
The Mint Forest