Well... as most of the US starts the chilly decline into winter, we here in South Florida are still sitting under a heat index that is over 100 degrees. I only share that to make the point that those fine summer drinks, like a Mojito, don't need to be closeted away just yet.
Muddle lime, sugar, and mint in a heavy bottomed collins glass. Add crushed ice, rum, soda, and stir lightly. Garnish with Mint sprig and a straw.
Some recipes call for bitters, I think a dash of Angostura is a real treat in this drink.
Why the Mojito? Well, a couple of things......
First, I read this hilarious post over at The Art of Drink that involves. among other drinks, the Mojito. Then, Skitiki is keeping the FOM Test Kitchens busy with a Drink of the Month, and this month she has taken our humble Ti' Punch and moved it forward in time and taste to the Mojito. I figure back-to-back Mojito references is a sign to step behind the bar for a moment....
I like Mojitos, and like many fine drinks a good Mojito is a thing of beauty and taste. Sadly, this drink is well on its way to being commercialized, if it hasn't already crossed that threshold, and that will be a shame. There is nothing more depressing than to see good drinks wind up inside of a slurpy machine (I still love you Margarita), or worse yet, seeing a whole menu devoted to all of the 'variations' (sorry Martini). But, with your help maybe we can save this one.....
How do you make a good Mojito? Simple. Find some good looking mint, the best smelling lime you can find in your markets, and a good Light Rum. Like any other drink, quality counts so get the best you can find, or at least the best you can afford. Now, as to the rum, my friend Scottes recommends Ron Matusalem Platino. I tried the last batch with Oronoco (thanks Helz!) and I was very pleased. I don't recommend Bacardi, unless that is the only light rum you happen to have on your bar, because it is a boring rum with absolutely no character or body.
I can't offer any kind of secret to the mint beyond fresh, or any tips for muddling the drink, or some super-secret formulation for the club soda. I can offer you a drink that will help you hold on to what ever is left of summer in your area, even if you have to stand over a heating grate to be able to wear your shorts.
Go, get mixing.
Yes, I know my picture is really a Caprihnia, but I was digging in the back of the bar and got distracted... The camera battery didn't make it to round two.