The Mojito, once a rather exotic quaff, has become as commonplace as a Cosmo--especially in the summertime. I burned out on the drink for a while because it was around so much on menus and at parties, but high atop the Potter Building, we DO have our usual Mint Problem this year. The Mint Problem is that you can't grow just a little mint. It grows so fast you can almost see it taking over your garden. And lovely as it is in iced tea and tabouli, it's pretty hard to keep up with it. There's always Too Much Mint.
So around now, I usually drop my Mojito prejudice and make some. Last night, I figured out how to properly do them more than one at a time, as in for a party or long cocktail hour with friends. The following is a very lime-y take on the drink, a wee bit bitter from the lime rinds' oil--and it uses LOTS of mint!
A Pitcher of Mojitos
(makes about seven)
In the bottom of a good-sized glass pitcher, muddle the following with a wooden spoon. Don't be delicate; it's OK to mash the stuff up.
The juice of five or six limes (you want about seven oz)
Two limes, skin on, sliced into thick-ish rings
A big bunch of garden mint, slug-free, carefully washed (only remove the tough ends of the stalks)
3 and a half oz or so (a little less or more to taste, but watch it 'cause this is sweeter than most simple syrup) medium agave syrup
then, add 12 to 14 oz of silver rum (I like 2 oz per drink)
Muddle a bit more. Make sure the agave is mixed into the rum and juices. Taste for balance and adjust with lime juice or agave.
LET THIS SIT WHILE YOU MAKE COCKTAIL SNACKS. Check the fridge to make sure you have lots of seltzer.
Then, after about a half hour, dump plenty of ice in the rum/mint/lime/agave mix and stir. Offer people chilled Old-Fashioned or highball glasses (also with plenty of ice), and let them mix their own drinks with about half to two-thirds rum mix topped off with seltzer. I like to scoop one of the muddled lime slices into my drink. Garnish with mint springs.
See you on the air at four today!!