Unless you’re lounging barefoot on a chaise in a cabana somewhere in The Keys wearing white pants and an unbuttoned linen shirt and your last name starts with H and rhymes with “lemming way,” you should not be drinking a mojito.
Yes, I do not love mojitos. Is it that obvious? It should be, but just in case it’s not, let me make it clear. I’m pretty sure I can say with a little bit of confidence that I sort of hate mojitos.
How clear, concise, and totally convincing!
There are basically three reasons why muddled mint and lime with rum and a splash of soda make me bristle.
1) Mint. Mint belongs nowhere except gum and mouthwash and maybe a flavored dental floss, but even in those, I am finding the new berry and citrus flavors much more suited to my taste. This means a mojito tastes like a Scope-tini with a splash of 7-up. That is disgusting. I won’t even bring up the fact that the mint leaves stay in the glass for a mojito, which means that you are a) drinking a salad and b) in danger of looking like you haven't brushed your teeth after grazing for three hours in a spinach field. Oops. There. I brought up the fact that mint leaves stay in the glass for a mojito.
2) “It.” This is a two-part point because I learned somewhere that it’s always best to argue with three points, and breaking it out would give my explanation four points and thus, weaken it and make it easier to forget.
- A mojito used to be the “It” drink – the cocktail that everyone has to order – but it isn’t “It” anymore. The fad has faded. The trend is over. Before you go out tonight and order a mojito, crimp your hair and squeeze into a baby blue terry cloth Juicy Couture tracksuit.
- When the mojito was the “It” drink, most people ordered and drank it, not because they truly liked it (see #1), but for the express reason that the mojito was the “It” drink. Just knowing about it, then drinking it, said “I’m classy.” Drinking a mojito doesn't say "I'm classy." Drinking a mojito says "I have halitosis." People who drink mojitos now are not only annoying, but they are behind annoying. If that makes sense.
3) Complicated. Flavors can grow on you. Fads are cyclical. The real problem with the mojito lies in its multi-step manufacture, and no concessions can be made for the most time- and energy-consuming cocktail to make.
One could argue that a daiquiri or a pina colada requires just as much effort as a mojito, but one wouldn’t be that stupid. Really, the difference between throwing ingredients into a blender then hitting “on” and the human labor required to muddle granulated sugar with mint and limes that are more than likely unripe and thereby hard, is exponential. When we take into account the number of times a guy in a Hawaiian shirt elbows his way to the bar and orders a pina colada (0) multiplied by the number of pina coladas he orders for his friends that can all be made at once in the same blender (0) versus the same variables for mojitos that have to be made one by one (839), the difference becomes logarithmic. I didn’t do well in math, so what I mean to say is “bigger.”
In other words, if you ever get stuck behind the guy ordering mojitos at the bar, you’re fuct. You will wait for a good 18 minutes and by the time you can finally squeeze up to the bar, the bartender will be both exhausted and pissed, so he will take his frustration out on the “soda” button for your weak little Citron and soda.
Now, given that I hate mojitos because 1) they’re minty, 2) they were pretentious and 3) they’re as effortless to make as a mint souffle in an EasyBake oven, it makes absolutely perfect sense that I not only made mojitos, but made a version that is even more complicated and time-consuming than they are already are!
Because that’s the kind of infused, confused, blended-with-ice food blogger I am.
Blended Mojitos Recipe
from the Williams-Sonoma Entertaining Cookbook, original recipe available online at Williams-Sonoma.com
Serves 4, 2 if you're pouring generously, and 1 if you drink like I do.
Put on The Girl from Ipanema.
Wash a bunch of mint leaves and about 4 limes.
Squeeze juice from (about) 4 limes to make ½ c. juice. Place the squozen limes with a handful (or half a bunch) or mint leaves in the bottom of a large glass container and muddle together to release "the essence." Add 1 c. rum (I totally blashphemed my mojitos and used vodka) to the limes and mint, stir, cover, and let stand at room temperature for about an hour.
Strain the infusion (the leaves will be dark green) into a blender. Add ¼ c. sugar (you can add more if you prefer your drinks sweeter), the lime juice, 1½ c. club soda, and enough ice to fill the blender.
Blend until slushy.
Pour into glasses, garnish with lime, and step out onto the veranda.
** a year ago today, at saints & sinners, everyone was "popular" in high school **
** two years ago today, i regained my pan-fried freshman 15 at royal star seafood **
Okay, I love your blog, but I've gotta say - you are wrong about Mojitos.
First off, they are a summer drink, so that's the best time for them.
Secondly, you have way WAY too much club soda in your version. And vodka? Oy.
To taste one by a master, go to the Canal Club in venice, and ask for the sweetest, best bartender - Jose. I thought mojitos were overrated as well, until I had one of his. Fresh, strong, yummy - it's worth the drive.
And if you go at happy hour, snacks are cheap!
I really agree with this post. So glad the Mojita (and Capirhinia) trend are over.
Chris H says
I have to say that mint is an herb just like any other, in that it lends aroma and flavouring to a veriety food and drinks. Please give it the respect it deserves and don't compare it to the artificial flavours of toothpaste and mouthwash. It's like saying my shampoo smells like lemon, therefore lemons should not belong in anything other than my hair products. And we all know lemons are far more useful.
Secondly Mojito's are meant to be drunk on a hot summer day, the slight (and not overpowering Scope-like) menthol effect is quite refreshing and a unique quality of mint. The pucker of lime and kick of rum work just as well in a daqueri.
Thirdly, technique achieves effect. I don't boil a chicken to get a crisp brown finish. Therefore if want milage out of my mint leaves I will have to do a little pounding.
And lastly I'm sure that the Mojito was a drink before the Barcardi Green Muddler was ever attached to their bottles, so to say that it is a JUST fad doesn't do this Cuban invention justice.
Sarah J. Gim says
chris: mint absolutely is an herb like any other, but i think it's okay for me to have a a very strong anti-preference. can i help it that it does, to me, remind me of mouthwash? i don't think you nor i can control how our minds react to certain sensual stimuli.
Mint was an herb long before it was a flavoring in your toothpaste. As Chris pointed out, there are many non-food products that use food flavoring. I'm not about to abandon every flavor that's been artificially injected into a hygiene product.
I'm not even sure where to begin with your second point. People shouldn't order a mojito because it used to be a fad? Things become fads because people actually do like them; I'll certainly admit that many people will order something mindlessly because it's popular, but things get popular because people like them.
And so what if it used to be a fad? Yo-yos used to be a fad. Should I never be seen purchasing a yo-yo for fear of sacrificing my cool points? Heck, I recently made myself a Ramos Gin Fizz. Have I lost all credibility there by being so obviously far behind the times? Food is food - if something tastes good, eat it. The culture surrounding it should be irrelevant if it tastes good.
As for your third point, it's mostly incoherent because of your weird faux-math comparison. So what if it's hard to make? If I shouldn't order one at a bar because the guy behind me gets the shaft, that's not my fault. That just means it's a crappy bar. If I'm making it for myself, I'm willing to put in some effort for something I think tastes good. Just like I'm willing to wait a day for pizza dough or shake a whole ton for a Ramos Gin Fizz. Good food and drink are worth the effort. And yes, I think it's good. If you don't, that's fine, but recognize that not all people's sole experience with mint is Scope.
Pardon me - what is "c." as in "1 c. juice" ?
I've never waited very long for a mojito ordered at a bar. No longer than I would for most other mixed drinks.
I find it hilarious that you said people drinking or liking mojitos is pretentious when the only pretentious person I can see here is you.
Sarah J. Gim says
Michael: "I’m not about to abandon every flavor that’s been artificially injected into a hygiene product."
Neither am I. As was pointed out earlier, I wouldn't abandon lemon because I smell it every time I dust my fine furniture with Pledge. I happen to love lemon. I will, however, cringe at the idea of gin because all it makes me think of is pine sol'd Christmas trees :) I also happen to dislike mint, so it does in fact, make me think of negative things.
"If you don’t, that’s fine, but recognize that not all people’s sole experience with mint is Scope."
Absolutely, which is why the comments are open ;)
Nir: the "c." is "cup."
RxForDisaster: it's a word I learned in organic chemistry when the profesor was talking about gas molecules being "squozen" into smaller spaces. :D
The irony has obviously been lost to many. How did yours come out? Were you able to enjoy them despite the mint? Or did you make them for guests and what did they think?
Sarah J. Gim says
The blended mojitos were dangerously delicious (more on that in a sec), which says a lot, given that the entire post is dedicated to how much I "hate" mojitos, which is sort of the point of the post, right? (thanks for recognizing that, by the way)...which brings me to the next point about my "style."
I don't ever mind people leaving comments that sort of reprimand me for my opinions like Chris and Michael above, though mostly it's just clear that they're new to my blog.
Or maybe I'm just that bad at getting across that it's all a little tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic.
Ok, and back to the "dangerously delicious" part of the mojtos...because they're so sweet, and blended with ice, they basically taste like a mint slushie, making it WAY too easy to suck down 3 or 4 without thinking about the alcohol. Not even halfway through the evening, we were TOAST.
Ha! I like the combination of hate and help. See, this is exactly why I make my mojitos myself, at home. It's the number one worst drink to order at a bar, because all you end up with is a sub-par drink with an unmashed mint leaf stuck to the bottom and a sticky, pissed off bartender. And THEN, I have to let down the gay dudes who inevitably hit on me. A whole lot of effort wasted for everyone involved, really. I've never tried it with blended ice, like your recipe suggests. Then again, I don't think I ever found a blender that could crush ice properly. I'm beginning to think that feature is just an urban legend.
To make the home-made drink even MORE complicated, instead of sugar granules use the more dissoluble sugar syrup. If I recall, it's 4 parts sugar to 1 part water, brought to a boil over the stove. Or maybe 3 parts sugar. Whatever, look it up. It can last about a month at room temperature, and then only because it starts to crystallize. I keep a bottle of the stuff in my pantry for when I feel a poem about fishing coming on. Very helpful.