More on the Mojito
Mojitos are often made with granulated sugar and some argue that this helps with the process of muddling the mint. In practice a few extra seconds of muddling without the help of granulated sugar is just as effective and is all that's required. Gradually dissolving sugar left at the bottom of the glass can be annoying (especially if you're drinking through a straw), so easily mixed sugar syrup remains the preference here. Snippets from an interview with the cocktail genius, Dick Bradsell, reveal his forthright take on the use of sugar syrup and an enlightening view on how ingredients available in Cuba and elsewhere influence how the drink is made in different parts of the world.
The Mojito Company provides an excellent history of the Mojito, from its likely earliest origins in the 1500's as "El Draque", through its development into the modern form, and its ascent to popularity in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The terrace of the Nacional Hotel in Havana is famed as the location to sample this Cuban classic. While this remains an experience not to be missed, the popularity of sampling a Mojito in this fabulous location necessitates the mass production of a drink which should ideally be lovingly hand crafted one at a time. A short walk along the Avenue de Misiones from legendary Cuban bar, the Floridita, reveals the breathtaking Art Deco styled Edificio Bacardi. Hidden away inside on the mezzanine floor is an oasis of calm called the Cafe Barrita, where the best Mojitos in Havana are served by barman, Alberto.
The Nacional Hotel, The Edificio Bacardi and mix shake and pour "researcher" enjoying a Mojito in Cafe Barrita, Havana, Cuba.
A simple modification to the Mojito, that is popular in some parts of Cuba, is to add a couple of dashes of Old Fashioned Bitters.
Rather than using squeezed lime juice, add half a quartered lime to the glass with the mint before muddling.