Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mojito Mojo

How's your mojo? Are you feelin' it? Are you refreshed? Chilled? Relaxed? If you answered "no" to any of the above, then here & now I offer you a prescription: A mojito. This drink seems to be the "it" drink of late, right?

I had never had one until a couple of years ago when the Cubans moved in next door to my photography studio. In fact, I think most of Honolulu was not hip to the beverage, but what do I know...

What I know is that Jesus, (pronounced hay-suus, but I prefer to pronounce as geez-us, cause it's more fun to say you had a mojito with jesus...) anyway, Jesus Puerto brought Cuba not only to Honolulu, but to my very doorstep with his second Soul de Cuba Cafe.

In the following years, both these Cubans and their mojito have become dear friends of mine. I have consumed my share, photographed it up close & personal, and have even written about it.

The thing about the Soul de Cuba mojito is the handmade mixes they use. Another instrument I was introduced to by the Cubans was the "muddler", a small, sawed-off rolling pin of sorts, used to mush ingredients together for cocktails. It makes ALL the difference!

Another secret of the mojito is "simple syrup". You know about this? It takes two seconds to make and is the little secret ingredient in many a cocktail. (Bring one cup of water to boil and add one cup of sugar, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for a couple of minutes, then let cool).

If you want to whip up a mojito at home, here's what you do:

Pour some simple syrup into a rocks glass.
Add 1/2 a lime cut into quarters and about 5 fresh mint leaves.
Take your handy dandy muddler and bash them together a bit.
Fill the glass with ice and add a shot of white rum and top with club soda, seltzer or lemon-lime soda.

Pour back and forth into a cocktail shaker till combined. Garnish with a sprig of mint and soon you will have your mojo back! I'm talking about the refreshing, chillin', relaxing mojo that comes from the mojito. And if you don't feel like making it yourself and you happen to be in our neighborhood on Oahu, have one of the Cubans serve one up for you! You can find them at

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