Latin Twist: Mojitos

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Verde que te quiero verde,” (Green, how I want you green) are the first lines of a poem by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca.  (Here it is in English, followed by Spanish…where it really does shine). In celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day, spring—or both—green is the color of the season!

This seasonal train of thought lead me to mojitos. Now, I know what you might be thinking: Mojitos and Saint Patrick’s Day  are not a a usual match up. But, well, they can be—and so I’m bringing them together! And though yes, there are many variations of the original rum/lime/mint drink. In fact, I’ve made many of ‘em myself and do believe in playing and variety. But here, mis amigos,  I’m being a purist.

Mojito photo by Dasha Wright, from Mambo Mixers,©2005, Arlen Gargagliano

One of the nice things about this classic Cuban cocktail is that the infusion of fresh lime and mint gives it a refreshing flavor that marries well with many treats. On Friday at dawn  (on Telemundo!), I paired it with my guacamole—but chimichurri would be wonderful as well! Would love to hear some of your pairing ideas. In the meantime, ¡buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Mojitos

Serving Size: Serves 1

Latin Twist: Mojitos

The mojito (pronounced moh-HEE-toh) was destined to take the United States by storm! After all, how could a country already enamored with the mint julep not fall for this Cuban classic? Just one sip of a mojito, which perfectly combines the flavors of rum mint, and sugar, will prove why it's popularity continues to explode!

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh mint sprigs, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, plus additional lime wedges, for garnish
  • 1 1/2 ounces light rum (my new light rum favorite is Vizcaya Blanco, from the Dominican Republic)
  • Ice cubes
  • Splash clube soda

Instructions

  1. Remove the mint leaves from their stems and place them in a tall bar glass
  2. Add the sugar.
  3. Use a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon to lightly mask the mint leaves and sugar togeterh.
  4. Add the lime juice, rum, and a cup of ice.
  5. Cover and shake.
  6. Transfer to a serving glass (if it's different from the one you're using!).
  7. Top with club soda.
  8. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedges and serve immediately!
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About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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