It’s been a while since my last post about making cocktails. Or about anything, really.
As it turns out, being a sophisticated Cocktail Dad is a whole lot of work. I’ve actually just been making the next cocktail this whole time. Being a Beer Dad is so much easier and smarter. You just crack one and drink it and think about which one you’ll crack next. Then you just go to bed. And probably you’ll wake up tired. Repeat!
Being a Beer Dad doesn’t involve a lot of instruction or guesswork or secrets hidden in plain sight like being a Cocktail Dad does. Like, get this: my last cocktail post about Dirty Martinis? You have to have dry vermouth to do those. Even though it says so on the bottle, nobody told me that you have to refrigerate that stuff after you open it! I didn’t notice that fine print until weeks later. I refrigerated the vermouth at that point and continued to throw it into drinks (I started making dry manhattans with it because martinis are terrible), but it started to taste like wet cardboard so I poured it down the drain.
From now on: Only buying bottles of things that never go bad. Like rum.
I have never really understood the appeal of rum, if I’m being honest. I associate it with Malibu Coconut Rum, which people used to drink to the point of Stand By Me levels of barf-fests when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I also associate it with “rum and coke”, which is just a fancy way of saying “here, I ruined this glass of coke”. But I’ve got a bottle of white rum and I am going to find a way to drink it.
Or die trying.
It’s summertime and the living is easy. Or tolerable, anyway. I have decided to make one of the most emblematically “summer” drinks that I possibly can. The classic mojito.
Wikipedia tells me that the mojito is a Cuban drink. Seems about right. This page lists a couple of different origin stories for this drink, but the best (and clearly the correct) version is the story about the pirate guy coming up with this drink as a cure for scurvy and dysentery. Seems like a pretty good excuse to have one of these every couple of days whether you’re at sea or not.
The Wiki page also indicates that the mojito is an immensely popular drink. The most popular cocktail in both Britain and France in 2016, in fact. You know. Britain and France. The well-known tropical beach paradise countries, Britain and France.
HOW TO MAKE A MOJITO
I didn’t get my shit together to take a picture of all of the ingredients together, so please imagine the following:
- White Rum
- Fresh Mint
- Soda Water
Already feels pretty complicated. Already feels like I’m making a mistake.
The first thing that you should do is locate some ice. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got ice in your freezer. I don’t have crushed ice in my freezer, though. So we’ll have to prepare some.
Throw some of the giant ice cubes that you have in your freezer into a big ziplock bag and then grab the smallest hammer that you own. Some of my friends made fun of me when I purchased this hammer, and to them I say: who is laughing now, motherfuckers?
Use the hammer to beat the shit out of your icebag for a while. This part is pretty fun, but when taken as a part of the drink-making process it really makes it feel like this drink is a lot more work than it is actually worth.
When your ice has been reduced to little chunks and ice-dust, it is time to prepare a lime.
Stab a lime until you have some very thick wedge-chunks, and make sure that you also cut a wheel from it, because you’ll need that later for presentation. Fancy cocktails are mostly presentation and if the drink looks bad, you have completely failed – even if it tastes incredible.
You will need to add your lime chunks, some sugar (I didn’t know how much, so I just threw a teaspoon of sugar in there, who gives a shit amiright?) and your fresh mint leaves to the bottom of a glass. I’ve seen recipes call for different sizes of glass, and I’m not sure what’s appropriate. So I just used a thick-bottomed whiskey glass that used to be my grandfather’s. Thanks, Grandpa.
We’re lucky enough to have a mint plant, so the mint that I used was fresh from the plant. Every recipe and tutorial that I have found for this drink makes a huge deal out of “spanking your mint”, which I feel might just be people doing something that they think is cute that actually has little bearing on the ultimate product. Nevertheless… you have to spank your mint, guys.
Next, you’ll want to grab a sex toy to muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the glass. You can use whatever sex toy you have handy, but I have this nice metal one that I got as a gift for the purpose of making cocktails.
Now, to muddle the ingredients you don’t just mindlessly smash the stuff. You must gently but firmly smush the stuff. Until it is just ludicrously pulverized and basically a disgusting green paste at the bottom of the glass. Every tutorial that I came across actually suggested that I not go that far with the muddling, but as it turns out… I love to muddle.
Top the green paste up to the top of the glass with a bunch of ice. By now the dusty part of the ice has probably melted, so … you’ll really just be pulling chunks of ice out of a ziplock bag full of ice water. Still – looks refreshing, no?
Add two shots of the white rum of your choice. You will notice that my rum is superior. Please ignore the olive oil in the above photo. Do not add olive oil to your drink.
Stir your drink around to mix the rum and mush, and be sure to use your spoon to pull some mint leaves up into the ice. Once you’ve stirred a bunch, top the whole thing up with some soda water. Shove your lime wheel onto there and you’ve got what looks like some kind of a beverage, I dunno, I’m not a bartender, what do you want?
DRINKING A MOJITO
It must be said: Even if my version of a mojito looks bad and was made incorrectly, this is a very refreshing thing to drink on a warm day.
I feel like I could have gone minty-er with it, and that it perhaps would have been better with genuine crushed ice, but I can’t really think of much to complain about with this one. It was delicious. Just a little fizz and just enough lime. Subtly boozy but not close to what I would consider strong. Just an easy-sippin’ summer cocktail, ready to enjoy on the sandy beaches of … Britain.
I do think that this drink may be so drinkable that you could get into real trouble with it if you weren’t a one-or-two drink dad in your approach. This went down easy and it went down fast. At two full shots per drink, you’d be looking at a real rough morning the day after having a real fun afternoon with these things.
As mentioned above, the mojito is a real pleasure to drink. It’s refreshing, has booze in it, and you can pretend that you’re a pirate and call it a health drink if you wanna. It makes the Dirty Martini that I made last time seem like a real bummer of a drink by comparison.
Mojitos are too much work. Way too much work. You have to harvest stuff and mix stuff and spank stuff and smash stuff and smush stuff… it never ends with this fucking drink! All for just one drink!
So, my final verdict on a Mojito is: A fine drink… for someone else to make for you.
I thank you.