Monday, May 28, 2007

The Perfect Mojito

As part of what I guess will become a running series, I now present the instructions for creating the perfecto Mojito.

A little background. Being into cigars, and therefore having a romanitc yearn to visit Havana, Cuba, I have had a long running interest in the Mojito. Whilst on vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC, I ran across a little place called Latitude 22 degrees, which purported to offer Mojitos as a new item on their menu. Fate and her sisters all bringing everything into alignment, I thought, well groovy, I must partake.

Well, I was a tad disappointed. The first sign was that the mint leaves that they pulled out of some plastic sandwich bag, from some dark corner of the bar, were brown (mint leaves are not supposed to be brown when used). Needless to say, I was left a bit unsatisfied with the experience. So, as things are wont, I set out to do that on my own at which others seemed inept at doing.

I did the requisite research, yadda, yadda, yadda, a la my quest for the perfect martini. When all was said and done, I achieved one of the most refreshing drinks on a hot, sultry, humid afternoon that one with any kind of taste will have. I offer you, my one reader, the directions for this elixir:

  • Ice (cubed - not crushed)
  • Mint Leaves (approx. 12)
  • 1 Lime
  • Simple Syrup (or raw sugar)
  • Clear Rum (I use Bacardi)
  • Club Soda
Directions (the first 3 may be done in any order...the rest may not):
  • Put the mint leaves in the glass (I use spearmint and/or apple mint. Apple mint, in my experience has no hint of apple, but is only more subtle than spearmint so you might need more)
  • Squeeze the juice of one whole lime in the glass
  • Put 3-4 spoonfuls (normal "teaspoonful" - not the measure, but just your normal small dining spoon) of simple syrup (the preferred), or raw sugar into the glass. (There is some debate around this, but if you follow the rest of this, everything will be fine)
  • Muddle the concoction so far. Now, you can use the back of a spoon, but a true muddler is preferred. You do not want to rip the mint leaves so much as bruise them and allow the oils and aroma to ease out. Periodically at this point you should be sticking your nose in the glass. When you can smell the mint (the lime aroma will already be there), then you are pretty good to go.
  • Lightly taste the end of the muddler. It should have a "nice balance" (yes that's open to interpretation, but so be it) of sweet from the sugar, lime, and mint. If it does not have that "balance" then adjust the recipe accordingly and muddle some more. This is probably the key step, so keep at it until you get it right. Do Not Compromise.
  • Add ice until about 1/2 - 5/8 of the glass is filled.
  • Add 2-4oz. of rum depending on your tolerance/taste (I prefer 3-4oz.).
  • Top off with fresh club soda. Club soda goes flat very easily and while still "tasty" with flat club soda, it makes all the difference in the world having it carbonated. A side note: There is generally not enough club soda to make a Mojito "carbonated". However, the thorough carbonation of the club soda adds an effervescence that is not to be overestimated.
  • Stir the drink from the bottom...and by that I mean put a spoon all the way down to the bottom and focus your stirring there. Stir to bring the muddled mixture to the top (as opposed to just stirring to mix everything altogether). This will get everything mixed toghether appropriately, but still keep the mint leaves below the ice, making drinking a much more pleasant experience.
  • Keep making/drinking these until you no longer notice how hot and humid it is (at 4oz/per drink, this will not take very long)
Another note: Some will remark about making "batches" of Mojitos in a pitcher. This I do not understand because in pouring from said pitcher, the layering of everything (i.e. the mint leaves remaining below the ice) gets all messed up. My recommendation is to make them one at a time.
posted by Dennis at 11:29 PM (permalink) 0 comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gasoline Glut on July 4th!

Ok, by now virtually everyone has heard of the POS idea to not buy gasoline that happened on 5/15 (and has been happening since 1999). The whole premise is that it will hurt the "big oil" companies (it won't), and that it will make some sort of a statement about the state of gas prices, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well to combat that vacuous crap, I'm asking for my one reader to buy twice as much gasoline on a particular day. And what better day than the glorious 4th of July?!? (Which, by the way is the second best holiday next to Christmas).

And unlike the "gas boycott" ruse (which only shifts one's purchase to the day before or after, as opposed to actually cutting anyone's gas usage), I'm asking my dear one reader to use twice as much gas that day. Buy extra gas cans and fill 'em just to have 'em lying around. Drive everywhere - even to your mail box 10 feet away. Leave your wonderful, big American gas guzzler idling during your entire work day. Rent an SUV for the day!

Suck up the gas on July 4th and and thank those "big oil" companies for all of those wonderful petroleum products that make our lives so livable. Thank them for all of the billions and billions of dollars of research that have gone into this industry. Thank them for efficiently powering all of the wonderful transportation vehicles like ambulances, jet airplanes, etc. that have revolutionized our lives.

Then sit back, have a beer, a grilled hamburger and/or hot dog, and then put your feet up while you realize what a great place the United States really is.
posted by Dennis at 2:44 PM (permalink) 3 comments