Last year, I took my mom out for lunch on her birthday - to The Cheesecake Factory - because every good meal begins and ends with chocolate. On that warm August afternoon, I decided to steer off my usual margarita course, and I ordered a mojito. That drink changed my cocktail life.
Over the course of the next year, I attempted to recreate that first delicious beverage in my own home - because, in the words of one wise beerman, "to create good drinks, one must not go to a bar --- one must go home." OK, he might not have said that exactly, but you're getting my point. I have squeezed the juice out of too many limes to count. Don't ever ask me to tell you about the time I juiced key limes. For four hours. To make 6 drinks. I will cry. The ugly cry. ... I have boiled water and sugar until my pans have turned black (OK, that might have been the rice I burnt that one day, but I digress...).
Last night, I discovered the Holy Grail of mojitos. Move over Martha. This one beats the limes out of the rest (literally - you'll see). Hands down. The best mojito I have ever tasted.
Here's the wanted poster:
To give credit where it is due, in St. Louis, you don't go purchase your groceries at the Hy-Vee or the Happy Owl or whatever place it is ya'll shop your groceries. Nope, here in town we shop at Schnuck's and Dierberg's. Ever heard of them? Well, the fine folks at Dierberg's put out a monthly recipe flyer for free. I think everyone flocks to the store for it. They even have cooking classes - which I will be partaking in tonite with my mom (she's having another birthday, Lucky Me!!!)...but I'll talk about that tomorrow. So in the June 2007 issue of everybody Cooks, Modesto Tapas, a local restaurant, shared this recipe:
6 small lime wedges
6 mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces rum
1/2 ounce simple syrup *
4 ounces club soda
In a cocktail shaker, combine lime and mint; muddle by pressing with a twisting action. Add rum and simple syrup*. Fill shaker half way with ice; shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig.
You mean, I don't have to juice a lime?! All you have to do is throw 6 lime slices and 6 mint leaves in the bottom of your glass (who needs a shaker when you're using simple syrup* anyway?) So, basically, beat the tar out the stuff in the bottom of your glass with whatever long blunt device you have lying around your kitchen (mine was a tart making thingy from Pampered Chef) 'til it looks about like this:
Then add all your other stuff, til it looks about like that photo at the top!
Enjoy! And thank your luck stars that I found the absolute easiest way to make a mojito (not that Martha's way is 'difficult' - unless you're hankering for a key lime...) and it is a refreshing delight!
*And muddling limes and mint in the bottom of my glass isn't the only way I've found to cut corners. Simple syrup is basically equal parts water and sugar boiled to dissolve the sugar (used instead of superfine sugar that actually does dissolve when you shake it in a cocktail shaker). Yup - just throw that sugar and water into a microwaveable glass, hit the 'boil' button on that handy machine - but avoid burning yourself when removing the glass from the microwave!!!
:: instant simple syrup ::