Well, it’s les vacances, and I’ve been secretly posting all week from Sofia, Bulgaria. (Actually, I wrote it all on Monday, and set it up to post throughout the week. How cool is that?) Nick’s had this guest post brewing for a little while now, and what better time to post about Mojitos than the hottest month of the year? So sit back, relax, and enjoy the dulcet tones of Nick’s prose.
There’s an herb guy at the Joinville market (Thursdays & Sundays, bring your elbows and wear closed-toed shoes). We’re sure he has a proper name, but we call him “the herb guy.” He runs his stand on a corner and is often only barely visible behind green mountains of fresh parsley, cilantro, and mint. On a recent (and finally sunny) trip to the market the waft of mint was irresistible. We had cilantro, rosemary, and parsley on the shopping list, so we decided to pick up some mint to go along for the ride. Two bunches in fact. Why the splurge? Because it looked fresh, smelled great, and the things are thirty cents a bunch. Treat yourself, right?
The other motivation for the mint was that I’ve had my eye some Cuban rum lately. This is one of those items you can find in France that you can’t find in the US. Cigars, too, but this is a food blog and I’ll stay on subject.
Rum comes from the Caribbean, and as an outsider it is interesting to note the origins of the rum imported into France. I will admit that, in general, rum is not high on my list of libations. However, in The States most rum I know of comes from Puerto Rico. In France one can find rum from the DOM-TOM’s Martinique and Guadeloupe as well as from Cuba. In other words, each country imports their rum from their respective Caribbean territories/departments, and then Cuba in the absence of any long-standing embargoes. As well, there are three to four different brands of Cuban rum at a given grocery store. So, political ramifications notwithstanding, we grabbed a mid-priced bottle of forbidden-fruit Havana Club añejo 3 años Cuban rum.
The rum itself was very good. The flavor was simply that of distilled, fermented sugar cane juice. A slightly warm punch at the beginning, certainly mellowed over those 3 años, with a residual sweetness you can only get from pure cane sugar. Really nice with a cube of ice, but it begs to be turned into a cocktail.
My food recipes are usually less than precise, and my drink recipes are even less exacting. So here goes: I took a chilled glass, added some sugar and juiced half a lime on top. I picked a bunch of mint leaves and put them on top of the sugar and lime juice, and muddled that with the back end of a wooden spoon (my muddler is in a box somewhere). I then added my desired amount of rum and a handful of ice, and topped it all of that off with some Perrier (it’s still France, and we’ve yet to find that art deco seltzer bottle at the flea market), stirring gently to maintain the fizz.
In a word, the Mojito with Cuban rum was great. Like a mint perfumed effervescent adult limeade. An incredibly refreshing treat on a hot day. We each had two.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.