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a return to the Mojito, and a departure

The upswing of interest in the Mojito in the opening years of the Twenty-First Century may well be an effect of the popularity of Nick Gold’s rediscovery and promotion of the Buena Vista Social Club and the estranged musical time capsule it represents. Then again, it could be that the Mojito is just such a damn fine drink.

We’ve been tracking reports of the Basil Mojito for quite a while. Sometimes with purple basil, sometimes adulterated with raspberries; served at Thai restaurants, served at hotel bars. The substitution of basil for mint is both obvious and brilliant.

This past weekend the weather was hot and muggy1, I was impatient to use my bottle of pimento dram2 and our cabinet was short on gin3. A vase containing a riot of basil sat on the counter, and we had a couple of grapefruit. I llet the Force guide my hand.

In the bottom of your mixing glass, place
â—‡ a cube of demarra sugar.
â—‡ 1 tsp pimento dram
â—‡ 3 leaves basil (torn in half)
â—‡ 4 inches grapefruit peel (cut with channel knife).
Pour over
◇ ¾ oz lime juice.
Add ice. Pour over
◇ 1½ oz rum.
strain into a highball glass (use a sieve instead, if you feel that the resultant liquid looks like swamp water).
Top with 1 oz soda water.
Garnish with the flowering-top of a sprig of basil.

1. for the Pacific Northwest.
2. I’m 20 days through Paul Clarke’s recipe for pimento dram and finding it impossible to resist using, even though it hasn’t aged enough.
3. which is a topic for another blogpost.