Monday, March 8, 2010

The Cuban favorite: The Mojito

The Mojito recently reached the public attention and took off in a sprint. Originiating in Cuba, the Mojito is now served in most mainstream bars. I want to present one clssic recipe and one with a twist.

Classic Mojito Recipe
Serves 1

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice
2 heaping teaspoons superfine sugar
1 cup crushed ice
12 fresh mint leaves, plus 5 small sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup (2 ounces) white rum
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) club soda


In 10-ounce glass (such as Collins or highball), stir together lime juice and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/4 cup crushed ice. Rub mint leaves over rim of glass, then tear leaves in half and add to glass. Gently stir for 15 seconds, then add rum, remaining crushed ice, and club soda. Gently stir for 5 seconds, then tuck mint sprigs into top of glass and insert tall straw.

Beet-Infused Mojito
Serves 1


5 lime wedges
15 small mint leaves
1 to 11/2 tablespoons sugar
Ice cubes
1/4 cup white rum
1 to 11/2 tablespoons beet purée*
1 or 2 splashes of lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
Sugar cane stick*, for garnish (optional, available at Asian and some Latino
specialty markets)


1.Make beet purée. Place two large unpeeled beets in a pot with just enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until they are easily pierced with a fork. Discard the cooking liquid and allow the beets to cool before peeling, then chop beets coarsely and place in a blender to purée with just enough water to facilitate the process. Blend until smooth. Place in a squeeze bottle or plastic container and refrigerate until ready to use. This will make about 1 cup purée, the remainder of which may be stored in the freezer.
2.In a highball glass or tall tumbler, mix the limes, mint and sugar until the ingredients are well crushed and combined.
3.Fill the glass with ice and add the rum and red beet purée. Cover and shake well (or stir vigorously). Fill the rest of the glass with the lemon-lime soda.
Garnish with a fresh sugar cane stick (optional) and serve immediately.


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