Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Italian Mojito

There's nothing to write, other than the holiday season has just begun, and along with it, "Bar Season" is in full swing. Since it's far too early in December to begin bitching about the holidays and holiday customers, I thought I'd offer this interesting twist on the classic Mojito. Since this recipe adds the delightfully dry, traditional Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco, it gives the Mojito just the festive kick it needs to take it from a summer to winter drink, in my opinion.

Like any other Mint Julep rip-off, mojitos require some prep, if you don't already prepare simple syrup at your bar. In a pinch, you could muddle sugar and water, but it's worth the extra effort to mix up a batch of simple syrup to have on hand... it keeps for about two weeks. And, don't forget to buy some Prosecco! I love Nino Franco NV Rustico, and the leftovers are fun to sip on...

The Italian Mojito

Approximately 10 fresh mint leaves
2 lime wedges, pulp separated from rind
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cooled simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. white rum (Bacardi or better)
2 oz. Prosecco
1 sprig fresh mint, for garnish
1 lime wheel, for garnish

Rub lime rind into the lower third of a pint glass. Reserve one lime rind. Add the mint leaves, lime pulp wedges, brown sugar and simple syrup. Muddle until the sugar is completely dissolved. (The aroma is intoxicating! Enjoy it, but don't stop muddling until all the crystals are gone. Nobody likes a gritty drink. Take your time... customers are oddly fascinated when watching you muddle. Servers? Not so much.) Add one level bar scoop of ice, followed by the rum. Shake the contents with a tin, and pour into a large highball glass. Add more ice if necessary, but leave one third of the glass empty. Slowly float the Prosecco. Stir gently to mix the contents and release the aroma, but try not to disrupt the fizz.

Rub remaining lime rind around edge of glass. Garnish with lime wheel and fresh mint sprig.

(My version of a recipe from the July/August 2005 issue of Cheers Magazine, which was adapted from a recipe developed by Xavier Herit)

I'm trying my hardest to keep my spirits bright, instead of morphing into my predictable, grouchy, holiday self. Liquor, music, and good cheer seems to help.

I'll cheerfully accept any and all suggestions, by the way.

She was his girl
He was her boyfriend
She be his wife, take him as her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling, dribbling baby boy
The wise men came, three made their way
To shower him with love while he lay in the hay
Shower him with love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love is all around

- Dave Matthews Band, "Christmas Song"