Mojito Season Is Open!

Categories: Last Call

It's that time of year when my thoughts turn away from warm, comforting Irish Coffees and Hot Buttered Rums. Balmy days like these call for a light, refreshing tipple. Few drinks can match the refreshing power of a personal favorite, the Mojito. Problem is, it's next to impossible to find a well-crafted one in a restaurant or bar. I think all the fruit-flavored variations exist to cover up hideous base products. Good news: It's a snap to make terrific ones at home. I present to you the five sacred ingredients to make a perfect Mojito.

Lime Juice
The juice of one decent sized lime. Only fresh-squeezed lime juice will do. Bottled lime juice is far inferior, and Rose's Lime... Ugh, just... no. Select limes that are heavy for their size; those are the juicy ones. They're usually astonishingly cheap at Asian and Hispanic grocers. While there, also pick up...

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Mo Mojito Lover
Mo Mojito Lover

"white superfine sugar. Superfine dissolves easier than regular sugar"? Good, if EASE is what you're looking for.

White sugar is the demise of what could have been a good mojito. This magnificent cocktail was invented in a placeĀ  where white sugar almost doesn't exist beyond making icing for cakes. Want a superior cocktail? start with superior ingredients! White sugar is flat and one dimensional. Try raw, turbinado or demerara sugar. You'll make Sir Francis Drake proud!


I've tried it both ways, and found that the neutral sweetness of plain sugar works best. A Mojito is all about the high notes: Silver rum, tart lime, cooling mint. The deeper notes of demerara sugar do little to highlight everything else. I think if you're going to use Demerara sugar, go full-bore and reach for a gold rum, and top off the drink with a healthy splash of sparkling wine in place of the club soda.

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