I've been using this recipe from another forum and the only variation is that I use Sugar in The Raw when making my simple syrup. My wife goes everywhere now saying she can't get a decent mojito compared to the ones we make at home. We even planted a huge mint patch out in the back yard.
My Mojito Recipe
Here is my recipe:
Nothing goes better with a Havana cigar than a Proper Mojito. The Mojito may seem simple, but I assure you, it is not. Not many ingredients, but easy to screw up.
Best Mojitos I ever had were in Cuba, at the Hotel Nacional in Vedado, Habana and in Habana Vieja (the name of the bar escapes me). La Bodeguita del Medio makes a good one too. Best one I've ever had in the States (besides my own) was at Naked Fish restaurant (small chain) in the Boston area, now defunct.
First things first:
1. If you or the bartender use any sort of shaker to make a Mojito, it is not a Proper Mojito.
2. If you or the bartender leave any part of the lime except the juice in the Mojito, it is not a Proper Mojito.
3. If you or the bartender grind the mint so much leaving bits and pieces to be sucked up through a straw, it is not a Proper Mojito.
4. If you or the bartender use any sort of flavoured rum, it is not a Proper Mojito.
5. If you or the bartender use any other fruit or vegetable other than mint, it is not a Proper Mojito.
I'm sure there are other mongrelizations I forgot to mention, but anyway, here we go ...
Glassware: Any highball glass, or even a straight-sided pint glass.
Ice: Prefer whole cubes, but cracked or crushed will work.
Rum: Best choice is Havana Club 3 year, or other Cuban three year rum, next best is a good Non-Cuban 2 or 3 year "straw" colored rum. I use Cruzan Aged Light Rum. 10 Cane is also a good choice I'm told. TRY NOT to use any white, blanco, silver or similar rum such as Bacardi.
Mint: It's available year round in most places. Get a big bundle of it, ask your grocer to go in the back and get the fresh stuff, nice big leaves, no browning, nice and fresh and moist. Don't skimp on this. And don't get the pre-packaged stuff if at all possible.
Limes: Get a bunch of nice ripe limes, nothing special here, just make sure they are juicy and nice and ripe.
Sugar: You can go in a few directions here. The Cubans use a wonderful natural sugar that is impossible to duplicate with raw sugar available here in the States, so don't try. You can also use plain granulated or superfine sugar. Here is what I do: Take a container, maybe quart sized or so that will withstand vigorous shaking with liquid inside. Use superfine sugar or regular granulated sugar, not confectioner's sugar. Into this container add one part sugar to one part water (temperature is irrelevant). Cover and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then shake again for 30 seconds. Voila! You now have a simple syrup. I like to put the simple syrup into a squeeze bottle like the kind you used to see in restaurants for ketchup and mustard. They have clear plastic ones at places like Bed Bath and Beyond for a buck or so each. Very handy. But do whatever you like.
Ginger Ale: This is a little trick that goes against the tradition of using soda water. But I FIRMLY believe if the Cubans had ready access to it and cheap, they would use it!
You will also need a long, thin bartender's spoon or a knife ... anything to stir.
1. Clean the mint in a strainer with water, dry, and then pick off the leaves. Store in the fridge with a wet paper towel covering the strainer and mint until ready to use, and do the same thing between making rounds of drinks.
2. Grab a handful of mint and put into glass.
3. Juice 1/2 of lime and put into glass. Juice only, not the rind. You may find you like more or less lime juice.
4. Squirt or pour at least 3 tablespoons of simple syrup in the glass. This is where the art starts to come in. You can adjust the amount of sugar you use based on your preference, and with experience you won't have to measure anything.
5. The Muddling: This is where the Mojito Craftsman is proven champ or chump. Mint should be pounded, not too hard, not too soft, and NEVER ground. It's all in the wrist. Hold the muddler with about the same pressure as you'd hold a bird. Don't want to hurt it, don't want it to get away! Don't twist, pound! Grinding or twisting the muddler against the mint leaves just makes smaller pieces of mint that can get stuck in your teeth, on your lips, etc. Pounding about 20-30 times at just the right pressure will release the oils in the mint leaves without breaking up the mint. You want the oils, and you want whole mint leaves. Immediately stop if you see little pieces of mint breaking off. This part of the process will only be perfected with time and experience. A good muddler helps.
6. Fill up the glass most of the way with whole ice cubes.
7. Add the rum, about 1 1/2 - 2 ounces. Again, personal preference will dictate exact specifications here. I usually add enough rum to fill the glass 1/2 way with liquid (includes lime juice, simple syrup and rum). That's about perfect for my taste with no measuring.
8. Top off with ginger ale. I use Canada Dry. The ginger ale adds a nice sweetness with the necessary carbonation, and is preferential to club soda, or soda water in my opinion. It's my one improvement to the Mojito as made properly in Cuba and elsewhere. This is not an original idea. Credit goes to Naked Fish restaurant in Boston.
9. Stir the drink trying to mix up the mint, lime juice and simple syrup on the bottom with everything else. Remember, a shaker has NO business being anywhere near a Mojito. Push down the mint leaves to the bottom of the glass when done stirring. I always taste the one made for myself to see if it needs a bit more simple syrup, rum or ginger ale. Add a stirrer and serve.
I love a great mojito with HC3, but I've tried 10 cane and it's pretty good also. As for not using white rums, I challenge you to try shellback rum or Flor de Cana 4 year silver. They're pretty smooth and tasty for a silver or white rum. HC3 is by far the best though.
A chef friend of mine, Greg Easter, wrote a book, "Cocktails of the South Pacific and beyond". Quite excellent with extensive info/recipes, I'm on my 4th copy. Folks borrow it, and love it so much, I don't have the heart to take it back.
Lately I've just been adding ginger beer (I like Cock & Bull, which is really gingery) to anything that's not Scotch---with vodka it's a Moscow Mule, more or less, except I don't really care for lime. With bourbon it's a Kentucky Jackass, I guess, and with rum a . . . Bermuda Burro?
I make a killer White Russian, which I call a Lebowski, but my doctor told me to knock it off.