The Mojito is a wonderful summer drink: refreshing and simple. Adding berries instead of simple syrup makes it a visual treat as well. Our recipe uses mulberries from a tree in our backyard, but it’s almost blackberry season in the PNW and those are yummy, as are blueberries or, for a tarter option (with maybe a little simple syrup!) raspberries.
The most important element of a good mojito, however, regardless of whether you use berries or not, is muddling the mint. As the video below shows, before adding any alcohol or ice to the glasses, muddle several leaves of mint (and a few berries, if you’re using) using the muddler. Make sure to grind the mint; the intent is to get it to release its oils without breaking up into small pieces that get into people’s teeth and makes them look silly without knowing it. I often sprinkle a little sugar (< 1 teaspoon, esp if using berries) to roughen the surface of the muddler and help with the release of oils. Some recipes call for tearing the mint and rubbing the rim of the glass, which can impart a nice mint flavor as well.
When the muddling is done 3 oz. rum (2 big jiggers) to 1-2 oz lime juice (1-2 small jiggers) of lime.
Fill glass with ice cubes and then fill with soda water. Use the cocktail spoon to its full effect: stir the bottom of the glass and then pull the syrup and flavorings to the top of the glass, and stir again. The bottom will be sweeter anyway (and that’s a good thing), but try to pull as much of it to the top as you can in a couple of gentle pulls.
Remove the leaves off one of the thyme sprigs from the bro-quet and use it as a spear.