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ask the bartender | Mojito
A sort of Cuban cousin to the traditional American mint julep, the mojito has long been considered a classic cocktail in its native country, where, decades ago now, Ernest Hemingway is said to have enjoyed more than one or two of the minty-fresh rum drink. Here in the U.S., however, the allure of the mojito has taken a bit longer to catch on  Ė except in Miami, which, thanks to its large Cuban population, has been serving up tasty mojitos in its bars for ages now. So itís only in the last couple of years that the mojito has become the hot drink of the moment in hip city bars across the U.S. Trendy Ö perhaps, but well worth trying nonetheless: refreshing as a lemonade, but with a bit of a kick, the mojito is the perfect drink to help you while away these hot summer days.

Though the directions might seem longer than your usual cocktail recipe, donít be put off: itís actually a lot simpler than it looks, especially if you have the foresight to mix up a batch of simple syrup in advance.

1. Make simple syrup: Heat equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan until just before boiling and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Make up a big batch Ė say a cup of sugar and a cup of water Ė than toss it in the fridge Ö itíll easily keep for a couple of weeks, during which time youíll be able to whip up mojitos at a momentís notice, to the delight of your very fortunate friends.
2. Place the mint leaves and 1 tbsp. of the simple syrup (cooled) in the glass, then squish it all around with a spoon (or whatever appropriate utensil you can find) for 20-30 seconds, until you can smell that good minty smell.
. what you'll need: 
2Ĺ oz. light rum
1 lime
1 tbsp. simple syrup
mint leaves (8 or so sprigs worth)
club soda
tall glass
spoon, or some other utensil that can be used to mash the mint leaves
3. Cut the lime in half. Squeeze the juice out from both halves into the glass, then drop one half into the glass.
4. Pour in the rum and stir.
5. Add plenty of ice, then top off the mixture with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!


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