Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mojito Update: A Cautionary Tale

How NOT to Make the Perfect Mojito!

Today I'd like to do an update on one of the first posts I did. My very first was dated June 24, 2009. It's been a very busy (and fun!) slightly-more-than-a-month of blogging! Thank you for all the visits and words of encouragement. There's a good chance most of you didn't see my Mojito post. I think I had 4 followers at the time (and that was thanks to Susan of Between Naps on the Porch, who was kind enough to ask some of her sweet friends to stop by and wish me well!). Please make sure to visit her and check out all the participants in Tablescape Thursday, my favorite day of the week!

It's time for another "Foodie Friday." You can visit Gollum's beautiful blog by clicking here. Check out all this week's participants. There are certain to be some wonderful looking and even-better-tasting dishes to be savored!!!

There are many, many mojito recipes floating around. I tried several of them and the recipe I posted is the one that I (and guests) have found to taste (and look) the best. A while after I posted the instructions, I had my first "fan letter," an e-mail from a delightful lady describing the harrowing experience she had trying her hand at mojito-making. I asked if I could share it with you, and she replied:

"You can use anything I sent...not sure anyone would want to hear it, but feel free.
It was a lot funnier after a couple mojitos...."

She mentions Delta Dawn, a reference to an estate sale I wrote about HERE. Here's the e-mail:


I found your blog today via Rhoda and I really love it. I follow many blogs but you're the first male to have one in my area of interest and I love your way of describing things (i.e. the sexy part of the mint.) Tried leaving you a comment, but I don't have a blog account.
Anyhoo, after reading your blog today, I was craving a mojito (also had Delta Dawn stuck in my head), so I printed out your recipe and after work went to get the ingredients. It's warm here in Virginia and it sounded so good. I drove to the ABC store which is not near my home. I'm a vodka girl so rum is out my knowledge area (I like good liquor) but after considerable looking, I found a bottle that actually had a "muddler" attached to the bottle (never even heard of a muddler before today) and a recipe for mojitos, so I figured that was the rum to get. I headed to the Kroger in the same shopping center, which I mentioned wasn't near my home so I didn't know where anything was at. I headed to the produce area and got limes and a few other things, but could not find any mint. To the best of my recollection, I've never tried to buy mint in my store before but I assumed they would have it. This is a lot bigger store than the small grocery near my house, but alas after 3 trips around the produce area, no mint. What the heck is a mojito without mint and here I had this huge bottle of rum in the car and a brand new muddler to test out. Then I saw it...a rack of potted herbs...and there was two very sad mint plants left. If I wanted a mojito, that was it so threw the plant in my basket. Hunted for a long time to find other items I needed and also got the club soda. (and a $7 bit of smoked gouda jumped in my basket.) A few more stops on the way home and finally, home to fix my mojito. But then I couldn't get the rum open. Finally realized to remove the metal thingy about the top and sliced my finger a bit doing that. Still wouldn't open. Peeled more metal wrapper off. (some cursing during this time) Ahhh I think I've got it...I see it's a cork. Rum has corks??? Give me Stohli here! And then, the top separates from the cork. What to do? Get that smoked gouda's gonna be a while. Can't find pliers so a kitchen knife is handy. Finally, bleeding about the bottle, I manage to get the knife in the cork and get the bottle open. Used my new muddler to do the limes and sugar, and contemplating how safe it might be to try to crush my ice (I don't have an ice maker) and decided against that. Get to the club soda, open it and spews out all over the kitchen....more smoked gouda....that stuff is awesome.....clean up the club soda now mixed with blood....decide a little more rum might be in order by now. Finally my mojito is ready....and you were right, great mojito even without the ice crushed but my sad plant didn't lend itself to a sexy garnishment and by then, I was ready to just drink the rum straight from the bottle and start belting out Delta Dawn LOL. Just had to tell you about my night....Love your blog and added it to my list. Hope you keep posting.

The original post:
After checking out mojito recipes online and viewing numerous youtube videos by bartenders claiming THEIR way is the ONLY way, I know how confusing it can get!

Some say to use lime juice (rather than lime wedges), to use confectioner’s sugar, that simple syrup is best, to crush the mint leaves to smithereens (yuck, they come right up the straw and taste bitter). I've tried most of the options, and I think I've found a nice balance ... one likely to please and impress your guests.

I like to use pilsner/ale glasses like the one in the photograph. I hate beer, but I love the shape of these glasses!

Here’s how I make a mojito:

Bill's Mojito

· Cut half a lime into wedges
· Place lime wedges in the bottom of a double rocks or highball glass (or perhaps a pilsner glass)
· Add two teaspoons of granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
· Crush the above-listed ingredients with a wooden muddler (or use the non-business end of a large wooden spoon as I did until I found a muddler at an estate sale)
· Add fresh mint leaves. Pinch them off near the stem and add as many as ten small ones – fewer if the leaves are large.
· Crushed ice comes next. If you have an ice maker with a “crush” feature, you’re in luck. If not, wrap ice cubes in a dish towel and pound away with a hammer, rolling pin, etc.
· Now pour in light rum … lots of it!
· Stir with a long-handled bar spoon. Naturally, being a good Southern boy, I always have an iced tea spoon nearby. Iced tea is the "house wine of the South" … for goodness sake!
· Stir gently, to bruise and distribute the mint leaves and to bring all that sugary, sherbet-y, limey taste upward.
· Now top off with club soda to give it a little fizz and sparkle.
· Garnish with the sexy end of the mint sprig. Some people just shove mint into the top of the glass, but I like to anchor it with a lime wedge on the rim. It’s pretty, and it puts the wonderful aromas right under the nose as you enjoy sipping this cooling beverage!
· Add two straws – not that you’re going to share it … it just allows you to cool off faster … and enjoy life more!!!

Now you have my recipe, try it and let me know what you think, OK?


  1. Love mojitos and love your flamingo's -- my grandmother had some -- they make the perfect tablescape for the mojito!

    I can't believe that you're a newbie -- I knew I didn't find your until recently but wow -- you're still a blogging babe!

    But glad that I DID find you sight -- it's a favorite at Linderhof.

  2. I never had a mojito before...I don't drink much...probably missing a lot, but anyway...the flamingo's are so cute! And the mojito looks so refreshing in the photograph.

  3. I grew mint this year just for making mojitos. My youngest son is a bartender so I will get him to muddle up some mint and sugar for his mom. I can't wait. Oh darn it isn't even noon here yet.

    Ha, ha, my word verification is noxbakx. I can do that.

  4. Hi Bill
    Your mojito sounds delish and looks wonderful in the pilsner glass. I like to use those glasses for other drinks, as well.

    Love those pink flamingos!!

  5. Oh, mojito is my new favorite drink! (Cosmopolitans and Margaritas a close second now). I'm going to try your recipe this weekend!
    Believe it or not, the best mojito I've ever had so far is one that was made by a bartender at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Disney World!
    Thanks so much for this, I'll let you know if it's a hit at the party!
    All the best,

  6. The next knock at your door will be ME, wanting to have one of those......looks so cool and refreshing! thanks for sharing, Bill! And who'd have thunk you were such a blogging newby???? Doing the "Go bill, Go Bill do the blog dance" for you!! ;)


  7. Well, Bill, I am laughing so hard at your email from the delightful lady, that I had to wait a few minutes to read your recipe. She sounds like a fun lady...probably MORE fun after her 'experience' of making the mojitos/!!haaa
    It looks wonderful in the pilsner pretty.

  8. Okay, I LOVED that story! She sounds like she could be my kindred spirit! She needs a blog!

    I have never had a mohito, but I am game to buy the stuff and try one! I'm a margarita girl, but I am willing to branch out!

    I am printing out your recipe!

    Lou Cinda :)

  9. O.K. I am missing out. I have never had a Mojito and it does sound wonderful. That poor dear, she sure wanted a Mojito in the worse way. She was willing to shed blood! Her story was funny. Loved it! And now for your Flamingos, I am not a Flamingo gal but I love yours. As a matter of fact I was at the zoo with my granddaughter the other day and snapped the most beautiful picture of flamingos. I liked it so much that I made it my wallpaper on my computer. Yikes am I starting to have a thing for flamingos? I will draw the line though to the front lawn kind. If I don't draw the line I know my husband would so why even go there?

    Loved today's post. Take care my friend.

  10. I loved your fan letter:) She was really cute. Sure hope she enjoyed that drink after going through all she did! I planted three different kinds of mint this year and have been thinking about making Mojitos:) I copied your recipe and think I will give it a try. Your first post mojitos looks great:) I think you are right about putting it into a pilsner....that looks great!

  11. I have never had a Mojito - looks good. I had a set of the Pilsner glasses many years ago - don't remember what I did with them Her story about opening the bottle of rum - been there, done that with a bottle of wine - more than once.
    Have a great evening.

  12. The e-mail is hysterical. Loved all the smoked gouda breaks. I've never had a mojito, my darling daughter thinks I would like them and this does look and sound delicious. I may have her make me one the next time she visits from college - she fancies herself quite the bartender lol. Kathy

  13. Think I'll call everybody over Saturday night for a front porch Mojito party! looks delicious!

  14. I do love a good mojito -- I cracked up over the poor dear trying to fix her drink! I wonder how many it took to ease her pain! Love the vintage flamingos -- don't they remind you of "old" money Florida?

  15. Love the flamingos! I've never had a mojito!


  16. Bill- I remember the Delta Dawn post. After reading the email, I'm glad I didn't try the mojito! Your drink does look refreshing and I love your flamingos!

  17. Love the photo.. and the drink looks great!

  18. Bill, this was a hoot. I have to admit that I shared your Mojito recipe with my bartender son. He is using it at the restaurant where he works. He said they are a lot of trouble to make but the waitresses are selling the fool out of Mojitos! He's whined about it so much that the waitresses write him love notes so that he'll make them. For example. "Mark, they need two Mojitos at table #12. Will you marry me?" Now, I'm a proud mama and my son is handsome but I know the proposal is all about the Mojito recipe. So, Mark says Thanks!!!!!!

  19. Hmmm, it is 4 oclock in the morning here. I can't sleep. Maybe I could use a bit of that...although I am not a drinker! It looks wonderful though....and I love the silver tray with the flamingos! Great juxtaposition!! (pretty good for no sleep heh??)

  20. Mornin' Bill...

    OMG...I'm just sitting with my coffee trying to wake up! Had the goofiest dream about a talking ostrich right before waking...and now...I'm seeing pink flamingos...what the heck does all this mean in dream language??? Hehe! Too cute! I love your pink flamingos and your mojito looks simply divine...I can almost catch a wiff of mint in the air!

    So glad that you shared your lady friend's letter with certainly brought a good ol' laugh to me...first thing this morning!!! It's going to be a GREAT day!!! Hehe!

    Have a good one, my friend!

  21. I love mojitos! your friend desperately needed one at the end of her mojito adventure! First time to your blog - LOVE IT - you've only been at this since June? Awesome! Look forward to more visits with you.


  22. Hi Bill,I'm a newbie to your blog too ~ it's captivating; you blog like you're an old pro!

    I look forward to catching up and following along. All the best to you!

  23. LOL ... that e-mail is hysterical! Thanks for sharing it. I always enjoy reading your blog.


  24. This sounds so good that I might actually find a spot to plant some mint in my garden. It spreads everywhere and I am afraid to put it near anything, but it might be worth it for this drink. I love mint and lime... and rum! Your fan mail was hysterical; I thought things like that only happened to ME!

  25. I have never tried this! But then, there's lots of things you make that I haven't attempted. You're way ahead of me, Bill, on entertaining! You always set such a beautiful table!

  26. Your mojito recipe sounds delish, and what a funny story!

  27. Okay the mojito has been prepared and served by my son. Pretty darned good. I think I'll let him live here a little longer. Thanks for your version. Superior.

  28. Oh Bill...I nearly peed my pants, wait maybe I shouldn't be telling you that! That email is hysterical! Love your photo and I have never had a mojito before and I would probably be as efficent at making one as this this gal. Anyhoo, I'm adding you to my blog roll. Thanks for the great giggle!!


  29. The email you shared was hilarious!!! The mojito looks & sounds good & I don't even drink. But you made it sound sooooo good.

  30. Mojitos + summer = bliss. This week I did White Sangria. Hope you'll link up over at Momtrends Friday Feasts:

  31. This mojito story is such fun to read!! We see mojito advertisements every night about 10 times for the moment.With the weather to become hot next week I think it is time to buy the rum,limes and mint!!! Here come's the mojito!

  32. Loved the story of your Mojito and thank you for the recipe.
    It is really a Summer time drink and look forward to making the drink when the weather is warmer.

    Enjoy your weekend

  33. Her email just cracked me up! All I could think was — been there, done that.

    I am a margarita gal, but I think I'll have to finally give mojitos a try, who knows, maybe I've be a convert.

    I LOVE those flamingos though! I know Chris from the Great Wall of Lutz will come to your house and steal them, better hide 'em.

  34. My sister in law loves mojitos. I'll have to give your recipe a try for her!
    -The Tablescaper

  35. I'll bring the mint - am growing an abundance this year - you bring the rest:) I hope you will join me at for Crock Pot Wednesdays. Mister Linky is up and waiting for you to present one of your favorites crock pot recipes. The details for participation and the announcement for the first giveaway item are posted. Come check it out!

  36. I just laughed and laughed! What a funny, and wonderful experience with your Mojitos! I never had this drink, how how wonderfully divine it looks! I do love rum! I have mint growing in abundance! I took a stroll around your site. How wonderful it is, and great prices you have gotten. How I'd loved to been at the estate sale. You have me hooked I going to start look for some around Jackson. I'm from Mississippi. Thank you for visiting my site today, I seen you on several followings. Your comment, was so sweet, You could never know how much it meant to me. Thank you! I can believe I missed you at Susan's! She is such a special lady! I loved all your Tablescapes and wonderful treasures!

  37. I have had a few bad mojitos made from mixes.. at bars no less! It's blasphemy I tell you. You have the muddling touch obviously, because these look like I could sip them off of the page. I love your most excellent blog.

  38. That was such a cute, funny story! I'm so glad you started your blog also; I'm enjoying all your beautiful place settings & especially your gorgeous collection of stemware. (I really enjoyed the history lesson on Rock Sharpe stemware. In fact, I'm now going to keep my eye out for those at auctions and estate sales here in Texas!) Patti

  39. Just loved that story and I have to say that mojito looks so good........I don't drink....usually... but might have to try that!

    I'm really enjoying your blog and would be honored for you to add my button. I see you don't have a button, so Please check you email.

  40. Mojito and a fun story:) Glad you are blogging too to share in the fun:)

  41. Love your post! This is what we need in this hotttt weather. Take me along on the estate sale post was how I felt. Your decriptions are great.

  42. I too love your post :) I love mojitos. Thank you for your comment on My last post, that was really sweet of you to say. I was having a hard day, I feel a lot better now.. thanks! xoxo

  43. LOL...You sure made it look pretty and pink with the flamingos.It does look inviting.Bill! Would you believe I was a barmaid for 20 yrs??? Well I was.In a small redneck bar in Miss.We did not serve any fancy drinks I'm afraid...LOL.But i did work 18 yrs in the same place(Clydes)2yrs at PJ's.The best yrs of my life.If you want to ,look up my older post called Bartending redneck style.Its a much older post Then ther is a post called a Barmaides story.You might like it.XXOO Marie Antionette

  44. OMG, this is hilarious! Someone needs to buy this lovely lady a bottle opener...and pronto! I searched and searched for mint in Publix the first time I made a mojito and the folks who worked in the produce department couldn't find it either...had to get the store manager to find it. :-) It was in small bags hanging with other herbs. I have yet to try your recipe...I keep doing it the lazy way with the Bacardi frozen stuff. Hiss... Ok, one day I'll have to try this does sound great!

  45. This is was just the most hilarious thing I've read in a very long time.. lets rush right over and help this gal out.. She needs to start a blog.. her humor alone would certainly make my day..I've yet to try your recipe... but it is definetly on the list of drinks to try... hope all is well your way...hugs ~lynne~

  46. I debuted Bill's Mojito recipe this weekend and it was a big hit!
    I tried that, and also a new drink (Peach Bunny) and we didn't have to supply anything else, they both were very popular!

    Today we were at the beach all day and when we got home we made Bill's Mojito's again ~ really hit the spot! Perfection!
    Thanks for posting the recipe!
    All the best,

  47. Hello Bill,
    This story was a riot. Everyone needs a little patch of mint in the back of the yard somewhere for just such occasions.

    I have never had a Mojito?? Where have I been living? A few years ago my friend introduced me to Mint Juleps and that was the beginning of the end. I like Wild Turkey in mine, Have you tried it? It is the perfect summer drink. So now I must hit the liquor store, live in Pennsylvania where it is not sold at the grocery. It's annoying as it is a special stop to procure it. Have a Mojito for me till I get it all together.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  48. I've been unable to perfect a mojito (I've found that most professional bartenders can't either) eager to give your recipe a try!