Mojito Cubano

Toronto has been experiencing exemplary summer weather. Peaking at 50 degrees, it is as if the entire city is being forced to spend their spare time guzzling iced cold mixed drinks just to survive! A few days ago I came out of the subway station and was hit by an intense wave of heat exhaustion. I braced myself from fainting by grabbing onto the nearest stop sign. I squinted into the sun and in a flash the image of a giant iced cold Mojito stood before me on Yonge Street. Like a vision from God (see: Moses and the Burning Bush). I take messages from God very seriously (unfortunately Moses didn’t). I marched right into my kitchen and grabbed my martini shaker, shot glass and pestle.

I’ve never been to Cuba but know probably half a dozen people that have. So I do consider myself half Cuban through association. I immediately played my favorite Cuban music, Buena Suerte, on repeat. You shouldn’t even throw on your apron until your music has set a mood. I think it is incredibly important to throw all of your senses into the kitchen as music is such an inspiration. I do think you can taste the difference. Dancing while you stir, remember to imitate a salsa dancer when squeezing your limes. Even if you haven’t had a proper Latin Lesson I do find this “mimic what you know” technique effective in infusing your food and drink preparations with a special sort of personalized positive energy.

Last weekend I was home at my parents house in Oakville and was given some of my mothers lush Mint which we scooped into a pot for me to transplant back in the city. I have been tending to its growth with the utmost care on my balcony. I don’t actually refer to “the plant,” as mint. From here on in we will refer to “the mint” as “Mojito plant.”

So to get yourself started you will need:

mojito plant

simple syrup

the most expensive white rum on earth (or whatever your guests bring)



ice cubes


I like to serve all of my cocktails in mason jars so set these up on your counter so you can build your drinks when your guests arrive.

You will first need to make a simple syrup which we are going to infuse with fresh mint. You may think making a syrup from scratch is far too labor intensive but you would be wrong. It is called “simple” syrup for a reason so don’t be a sissy, step up to the stove and roll up your sleeves.You can store this syrup in the fridge to use over ice cream, in an iced americano or other cocktails.

In a small saucepan add 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Simmer over medium heat. Add approximately 20 Mojito leaves. Once the syrup has thickened (after about 20 minutes) pour through a sieve and store in a mason jar.

In each guests mason jar, pour 1 oz of mint infused simple syrup, and a handful of fresh mint leafs. Muddle this together gently with a blunt instrument of your choice (baby’s elbow always works but pestles are far less needy), then add several ice cubes and muddle until you are properly satisfied.

Add 2 oz of rum and 1 ounce of lime juice;  stir with diamond encrusted Elizabethan spoon.

Top off with a generous splash of soda and garnish with a lime wedge.

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One Response to “Mojito Cubano”

  1. Chris Schryer
    July 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    All sounds good, but if I may, don’t worry about expensive, just get Havana Club Anejo. I know, it’s not white, but trust me on this one…… Mmmmmm, sooo gooooodddd.