I nailed this one tonight. The mojito is what I would term a robust drink, by which I mean you can find a lot of recipes with different proportions and preparation methods. That said, this particular recipe is killer, and I would only tweak one thing with it in the future, the syrup. Normally I like to start off making a drink following the recipe to the letter, but I’ve been making mojitos for close to a decade now, I feel like I know the drink well enough to tinker (even with Degroff’s recipe). He recommends building the drink in them glass, I prefer giving it a light shake first to get things nice and cold. I also went with crushed ice in the glass, and I’m never going back (even though crushed ice necissiates the use of a straw). You may notice that this drink is not the color of mojitos you may have had before, I add bitters to mine - a tip I picked from a bartender in Cuba who claimed to have one the world mojito contat in 2003. Best damn mojito I’ve ever had until five seconds ago. The one thing I’d like to change up is to try a 2-1 demerara syrup instead of the 1-1 white sugar syrup I’m using. The mojito originated as a farmers drink, and they wouldn’t have had access to processed sugar. The more raw demerara is also likely to add a bit of body to the white rum, we’ll say. You’ll also notice that unlike the mojito you made at home, mine has no crappy bits of mint floating around in it. That’s cause I used the weird metal triangle guy you see in the picture - it’s a julep strainer. You use it as a second strainer to catch excess ice and mint leaves as you pour the drink. Does this require an action shot?
Oh, if you’ve never had a good mojito, the lime rum and sugar meld into in this wonderful bed of tastyness that the mint springboards off of straight into your taste buds. White rum has a bit of natural funkiness to it (haut gout as the French call it, or hogo as it became bastardized chez America - try cachaca for a wallop of hogo) that prevents the mint from being too front and center (as it can be in the Southside) and the bitters give a wonderful spice that is both islandesque and old timey urban. So make one of these, and make it like this.
2 oz white rum (Havana Club)
1 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz lime juices
8-10 mint leaves
1 - 2 oz club soda
Pour the syrup and the mint leaves the mixing glass of your shaker and muddle gently (until the leaves get a bit darker). Add the rest of the ingredients save the soda. Get your Lewis bag and beat the ever loving crap out of a whole bunch of ice, say 4 handfuls, until it’s Snoopy Snow Cone crushed. Fill your 10 oz highball glass 2/3 full with crushed ice and your mixing glass half full with the rest. Shake gently. Using both your shaker strainer (either the built in metal mesh of your metal Martin shaker, or the Hawthornew strainer of your Boston shaker) and the julep strainer, pour into glass. Top with soda, give it a couple of stirs and a straw.
Adapted from Degroff pp 131