According to legend and half-truths, the mojito most likely originated in Cuba in the late 19th century and gained popularity in the 1930s (Ernest Hemingway, Brigitte Bardot, Pablo Neruda, Nat King Cole and Errol Flynn fancied them at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana in the heyday of the 1940′s).
12 fresh spearmint leaves
2 tablespoons simple syrup (see note)
2 oz light rum
juice of one lime
Splash of club soda
Lime wedge and mint sprigs for garnish
In a highball glass, gently crush the mint leaves and the sliced lime with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Add syrup, and fill glass with ice (preferably crushed). Add rum and top with club soda. Stir to mix. Garnish with lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint. Makes 1 serving.
Note: Make simple syrup by heating 1 part sugar with 1 part water until dissolved; cool before using. You may substitute 4 teaspoons superfine sugar.
For a “faux-jito”: combine all the ingredients except for the rum to make a non-alcoholic version of this drink.