Muddling the mint well is key to unlocking the full flavours of a Mojito. The trick is simply to use a big handful of leaves to start with and clapping them in your hands (or spanking if you prefer that as a term) before you place them into the glass to muddle.
It’s been reported that there are many hotels in Havana who also add Angostura bitters to cut the sweetness of the Mojito; and whether true or not it’s a great idea and easy to do.
Sugar syrup is the easy way to get it right every time, but there’s something about a Mojito when you use granulated demerara that’s just amazing. Add it in before you muddle (a tea spoon). It takes longer and dissolves slower but well worth it.
Which Rum to use?
Almost all the ingredients in the Mojito are indigenous to Cuba so it makes sense to pick your rum accordingly… Traditionally, you would make a Mojito with an unaged white rum and harness its lighter profile for that refreshing hit.
That said, the likes of Eminente Reserva or Ron Santiago De Cuba make for brilliant alternatives and bring in a depth of character into the mix which can be a nice way to change it up if you are enjoying the cocktail later in the evening.
Spiced Rum (such as Havana Spiced Rum or Black Tears Cuban Spiced Rum) can make a joyous alternative to traditional Mojitos too, but don’t be shy to ditch the rum altogether if you are looking for a different profile. Whiskies like Monkey Shoulder or a Calvados like Avallen can make for brilliant riffs on the drink. Meanwhile, if you like the sound of a Mojito but are more into Gin than Rum – head on over to the Southside.