In my quest on how to make a mojito to perfection I’ve discovered there’s one skill that you can’t over look – the muddle.
Not to be confused with Harry Potter’s muggles, the muddle is the skill that will either give you the finest lip smacking mojito or leave you thinking why is everyone fussing over mojitos?!
As a complete newbie to this classy drink, I quickly realised that it’s definitely not a case of throwing a few ingredients into a blender and voila. This is a classy drink that requires a classy skill.
A classic cuban mojito is made from mint, sugar, lime, white rum and club soda. Although, there are now multiple variations from berries to saki!
Anyway, the first step in perfecting a classic mojito is to ‘muddle the mint’.
The Art Of The Muddle
Muddling is the act of releasing the fragrant oil from the mint leaves by applying pressure to the leaves. And for that you use a wooden muddle (a taller, thinner version of a pestle, the kind you’d usually use for
grounding herbs and spices).
Unlike working with herbs and spices you need to be careful not to mash, pound or grind the leaves. All you need to do is apply pressure to the leaves by pressing the pestle down on the leaves..it’s more of a squishing action.
In a mojito usually you’ll muddle the mint and sugar with lime juice at the same time. As you apply pressure with the wooden muddler you’ll begin to see the mint leaves begin to turn a deeper green (this means you’re on the right track). I guess you think of the action as trying to ‘squish the sugar into the leaves.
After awhile a little syrup begins to form – this is the beginning of your mojito. Once you’ve achieved a little mint syrup you then go ahead and add mountains of ice, white rum, and finish off with club soda.
By the way you don’t need to wait until you get a wooden muddle to make your mojitos, you can use the back of a wooden spoon. Just be sure not to use plastic or metal as this can taint the flavour.
Muddling the mint is the most important technique to know when you’re learning how to make a mojito. Once you’ve perfected that not only will you be impressing your friends at your next dinner party, you’ll also be able to really begin experimenting with different mojito flavors.
Photo by Wine Dharma