The last time I had an actual cocktail at an actual bar was,
well, I don’t remember, so it must have been a long time ago. But I haven’t
given up on cocktails just because I can’t really stay up past 9:30pm any more
(what can I say, I have an 8-month-old who likes to wake up with the roosters).
Making cocktails at home is a far better investment anyway,
because at a hip bar a Mojito will cost you $12, while the same money can get
you a whole bottle of rum and limes and mint (and a whole lot more sloshed).
This is a recipe for the basic Mojito, but you can mix it up
with flavored rums (I like raspberry mojitos; just muddle a few raspberries
with the mint) or seltzers.
To muddle the mint mixture, use a large spoon (a wooden spoon
works well) in an aggressive up-and-down motion. Muddling creates friction to
dissolve the sugar and bruise the mint, which is required to release the
Yield: 4 regular cocktails or 1 big gulp
2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
Juice of 2 medium limes (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
9 ounces white rum
2 cups soda water
In a small pitcher combine the mint, lime juice, sugar, and
about 1 cup ice cubes. Using a wooden spoon,