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I once was told that drinking rum before 10 am makes you a pirate not an alcoholic… Words to ponder folks.

Its big news around here the forecasted high is 31°F for today. I know, I know, those of you who don't live in a frozen tundra are stifling laughs right now. But man has it been an bitter cold winter here and 31°F is sounding like a warm tropical breeze and I think I am starting to hear island beats (ok maybe its just that I am bit stir crazy without being able to go outside for like 2 months...). Either way it has brought my train of thought to Mojitos. Oh how nice it would be to be sitting on a beach right now enjoying a Mojito and watching the surf roll in...

Hey did you know that the Mojito is a pretty old man on the block? Legend has it that it was concocted back in 1586 for Francis Drake and his band of scurvy ridden pirates. When his ships got to Havana he sent a boarding party ashore to gather ingredients for a South American Indian remedy for scurvy. It just so happens that these ingredients were aguardiente de caña (a crude form of rum which translates to fire water from sugar cane) sugarcane juice, lime and mint. Although they didn't call it a Mojito but instead a "El Draque" after the captain himself it sure sounds pretty good. Had I been born back in that time period running with pirates that drink those all day maybe won't have been too bad of a option... I wonder if they allowed women aboard or if I would have to cut my hair like Elizabeth did in Pirates of the Caribbean...

Augie's loud snort brought be back down to earth, prompting me to leave my desk and head to the kitchen. I figured I might as well embrace the "tropical" weather we are having so I threw on some Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole tuneskies. Channeled my inner island goddess and opened the fridge to root around for Mojito fixings. I figured a Mojito would still be good even if I had to settle for enjoying it from my arm chair looking out the window at snow instead of a beach chair watching for white sails on the horizon.

Here's how the Mojito making went down...

Mojito Process

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  • Half of a Lime
  • Handful of Mint
  • 1 jigger of Simple Syrup*
  • 1 jigger of Rum (traditionally you are suppose to use white rum here but I use dark because thats mostly what I drink thus what I have in the cupboard)
  • Club Soda

*Not sure how to make simple syrup? Is so simple you will wonder why you ever bought it in the store. I’m using a 1:1 simple syrup meaning that its 1 part sugar, 1 part water. I normally make a bigger batch and keep it in the fridge. What I do is put 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small pot on the stove. Cook on low-medium heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved (don’t let it boil). Once the sugar is dissolved just let it cool and pour it into whatever container you like (I like to use one of those bottles for olive oil storage it already has a pourer built in!) That’s it! Easy peasy folks, now you have unlimited cocktail hour potential.

Mojito Recipe Photo

The Process

Step 1

Cut the half of lime into four slices. Drop two of the slices and half of your handful of mint into the bottom of a highball glass.

Step 2

Muddle - this is the step where a good or bad Mojito is born. Now of course everyone has their own opinion on just what the right way to muddle is but here’s what I do: Using medium pressure rock the muddle over the lime slices and mint. You want to be lightly bruising both the lime rind and the mint releasing the oils. This process goes pretty quick - once you have a good amount of lime juice at the bottom of the glass your good to go on and add the other lime slices and rest of the mint. Repeat the muddling until you have released the juices from the additional limes. This is going to smell like heaven so make sure to take a big whiff. Then add in the jigger of simple syrup and rum to the glass. Fill the rest of the glass with ice.

Step 3

Top with Club Soda and stir (I just stir with my straw but you can use whatever is handy). At this point you could also add that glowing ice cube if you got one. Mine is from our last trip to Walt Disney World it has turned out to be one of my favorite souvenirs and comes out every time I make a drink now days.

Step 4

Sit back, sip your handy work and day dream about that tropical beach. Snow looks like white sand right? You just have to use your imagination.

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