Bacardi claims the original recipe for this refreshing warm weather cooler goes back to 1586. According to legend, Queen Elizabeth I filled her treasury with the plunderings of corsairs like Sir Francis Drake, who ruled the seas of the Caribbean for Britannia. His subordinate, Richard Drake, is said to have created a drink he named the Draque from the local ingredients: cane alcohol, sugar, lime, and mint. It was renamed the mojito, a variant on the African word mojo, which means a little spell. It makes a great accompaniment for smoky and sweet barbecue.
Yield: Makes two glasses
Preparation time: About 15 minutes
2 teaspoons sugar
6 mint leaves, stems and central vein removed, cut in half
2 whole mint leaves or sprigs for garnish
3 ounces light rum
1/2 cup of ice cubes
About 1 cup of soda water
Options. Substitute lime soda water for the soda water, lime rum for the light rum, lime syrup or brown sugar for the sugar.
1) Place the cut mint and sugar in a martini shaker. Use a muddler (looks like a small wooden baseball bat) or the handle of a wooden spoon to bruise the mint by gently grinding it against the shaker bottom and the sugar for about 10 seconds.
2) Squeeze both halves of the lime into the glass and use a juicer to get it all out. Add the lime hulls and rum, and fill half way with ice cubes. Shake vigorously.
3) Add the soda water, shake gently just to mix in the soda water, but not enough to make it go flat. Pour through the martini shaker's strainer into martini glasses, and garnish with a mint leaf or sprig.