* 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
* 1 ounce simple syrup
* 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
* 2 dashes Angostura bitters
* 2 ounces light rum
* Club soda
* Mint sprig for garnish
Lightly muddle mint leaves with syrup, lime juice, and bitters in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and add rum and shake until cold. Strain over cracked ice into a highball glass, top with club soda, and garnish with a mint sprig.
This recipe is based on one from The Craft of the Cocktail but I make a couple minor modifications. I’ve increased the amount of rum from 1 1/2 ounces to 2, which I think balances it a little better, and I always use the Angostura bitters, which Dale Degroff says are optional. I find it adds a little complexity that would otherwise be missing.
The final modification I made with the drink pictured is that I used a Moroccan tea-infused simple syrup that our friend Drea gave us rather than regular syrup. It gives the Mojito an interesting additional layer of flavor; not quite mint iced tea but suggestive of it. To make this syrup, start with your standard simple syrup of 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. While cooking, add lemongrass, jasmine tea leaves, and orange peel to taste. Once the sugar is dissolved, strain into a clean bottle and refrigerate.
This process candies the orange peel, so try snacking on that once it’s finished.