Bar tools are fairly basic. Just hearing their names invokes the application. Shakers shake drinks. Stirrers stir drinks. Muddlers muddle drinks. Muddlers? Is that even a real word? To the bartender, a muddled drink might be seen as time consuming. To the home cocktail connoisseur, a muddled drink is delight that takes one extra step towards luxury in a glass. A properly prepared mojito is one such luxury.
Muddling is really quite simple. You do need a muddler, which is a fancy pounding/stirring device… a kind of a skinny pestle. For mojitos, it is used to combine the three essential ingredients: lime, mint and sugar. As you crush the juice from a fresh lime, the granules of sugar grind into the fresh mint leaves to release the tongue tingling essential oils. The tantalizing aromas arising from the glass are just a hint of the flavors that will sparkle in the final cocktail. It takes a little practice but a properly muddled drink is treat not to be missed.
The rest of the mojito is fairly straight-forward. Just add ice, rum and soda water.
Some people strain out the crushed lime and mint after adding the rum. Some people keep it in. The difference will reveal itself in the final clarity of the drink. Mojito fans will dispute which technique is best for hours.
This is a drink that can be as simple or elaborate as the mixologist desires. The finished product is astonishingly refreshing and well worth the time spent with a handy yet simple tool with a ridiculous name: the muddler.
~written by Sue Sierralupé, rokz alchemist
DIFFERENT DRUM MOJITO
This spin on a mojito uses a coffee infused rum from LaColombe Distillery. They describe it as a rum for the bourbon drinker and we love it!
2 parts Different Drum Rum
1 part fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Fresh mint leaves
Splash of club soda
Garnish with sugar rim
Combine lime juice, sugar and mint in a shaker and muddle to infuse the ingredients. Add the rum and a few ice cubes and shake until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass rimmed with rokz Mojito sugar and top with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves.