Learning how to make the perfect Cuban Mojito is just one example of some of the fun we have during our ‘Ukulele Adventures in Cuba. We also learned how to make authentic Cuban black beans (simply the best) and helped make our delicious lunch in the tiny kitchen at Cafe Ajiaco in Ernest Hemingway’s favorite seaside town, Cojimar.
This is Cuba!
And Now…The Perfect Cuban Mojito
Assemble your ingredients and the necessary tools:
- a tall glass
- a sturdy, flat-ended muddler
- a small measuring receptacle
- a teaspoon with a long handle for stirring
- freshly squeezed lime juice
- sprigs of fresh mint, 4 – 5 inches long, complete with stems
- Havana Club Golden Rum
- ice cubes
- sparkling water
- fancy (and reusable) plastic swizzle sticks
Carefully measure an approximate amount of honey from a recycled bottle of hooch into your small measuring device, then pour it into the tall glass. There should be at least 1/4” of honey in the bottom of the tall glass. (You can also pour it directly into the glass.)
Squirt 1/4” to 1/2” of lime juice from a re-purposed mustard container* into the tall glass, on top of the honey. Don’t be confused. In Cuba they may call it zumo de limón—lemon juice—but it is lime juice.
*A re-purposed ketchup container will work just as well.
And now, for the secret to a perfect Cuban Mojito…
Add several sprigs of mint, but not just any old mint. For a perfect Cuban Mojito you only use the kind of mint that has the red/purple stems. (The organic gardener down the road was very adamant about this!)
AND, please note that most of the leaves have been stripped from bottom of the 5” to 6” stem, leaving just a healthy flourish of fragrant, flouncy mint leaves at the top.
Secret #2, for a perfect Cuban Mojito: muddle the stems of the mint (and only the stems) with a little wooden baseball bat. (You know how the Cubans love baseball!) The leaves should still be nice and fluffy and leaf-like when you are done.
Add the Havana Club golden rum…at your own discretion. (Some people had more discretion than others!) Make sure you do this with an experienced flourish…but don’t spill a drop.
Steps 7 & 8
Add some chunks of ice, but make sure you leave some room in the glass for the sparkling water.
Fill the glass to the top with sparkling water.
Stir with the long metal teaspoon and gently coax any submerged mint leaves to the top of the glass then fluff them up a bit.
But don’t drink it yet!
Choose your fancy (reusable) swizzle stick and you’re almost ready to enjoy. But first…
Arriba! Abajo! Al Centro! Al Dentro!
The only thing that might be better, is to enjoy your perfect Cuban Mojito at the roof-top bar of your casa particular in Habana Vieja, along with a big, fat, hand-rolled Cuban cigar!
Hope you can join us for some Cuban Ukulele Rhythms next year!