Sure, since the mojito became the most popular drink ever, once again, it's also become popular for bartenders and self-described cocktail geeks to complain about it: It's pedestrian, it's the new cosmopolitan, it takes too long to make.
But I remember a time when we were all just beginning to rediscover the mojito. And despite the fact that I've made literally thousands of them during the course of my career, I still have fond memories of those summers when we'd all gather in the kitchen while we waited for the grill to heat up and discovered the drink together, a new generation of mojito lovers. It's an amazing drink when it's made right, and that's all you really need to know. —Jeffrey Morgenthaler
mint syrup (see below)
(60 milliliters) white rum
(30 milliliters) fresh lime juice, plus the spent lime half
In a chilled pint glass, muddle 12 mint leaves or add the mint syrup (see below). Add rum, lime juice, and the spent lime half.
Fill the glass with crushed ice and finish with soda water and more fresh mint. Serve with a straw.
For the simple syrup: Gently heat the sugar and water while stirring to dissolve the sugar, and promptly remove from the heat once all the sugar is dissolved. Take care not to let the syrup actually boil, as this will evaporate the water and change the ratio of water to sugar. Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile put some ice cubes in a medium bowl and fill with water for an ice bath.
Grasping the stem ends of the mint sprigs, immerse the leafy ends completely in the boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove from the water and immediately submerge in the ice bath for 1 minute.
Blend the blanched mint leaves and simply syrup on high speed in a blender for 1 minute. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pour into a plastic squeeze bottle, and refrigerate; it will keep for about 1 month. You'll have enough syrup for 12 drinks.