Here we are five months into the year, and summer couldn’t come soon enough, I’m sure many of us are daydreaming of a carefree, tropical vacation. Should your pocket book prevent you from such a vacation let us take you on a savory trip to the golden sands and turquoise waters of Cuba, the land of Mojito, one of the all time favorite summer cocktails.
Like many other drinks, there are several stories about mojito’s origins: some claim it to have originated in Britain at the times of Francis Drake (the “El Draque” was a rum-based drink named after him and believed to be the predecessor of mojito), some to the African slaves who worked in sugar cane fields in Cuba. Sugar cane is in fact one of the five ingredients for mojito, together with white rum, lime juice, mint and sparkling water. Because of the combination between an alcoholic spirit – such as rum- and a large amount of non alcoholic mixer, mojito is considered a highball drink.
Among the fans of mojito, we find Ernest Hemingway who used to sit at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana (“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita“).
The balanced mix of sweet and sour – mint and lemon- makes Mojito a light, bubbly, refreshing drink which can be interpreted in many different ways. Limoncello Basil Mojito is similar to the classic mojito yet brings some new unique qualities. Mint is replaced by basil leaves that are muddled with the sugar cane while the lemon juice releases essential oils. While mint is pungent, fresh, they can often leaves you with a cool aftertaste. Basil has a more complex scent that seems to incorporate pepper, anise and mint in a very exquisite aroma. The delicacy of the basil is complimentary to the citrusy flavor of limoncello, which substitutes the rum and contributes to both sweet and sour tones of an old classic drink with a twist.
2-4 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Rometti Limoncello
3 Splash of Club Soda
Muddle lemon juice, simple syrup and basil in a tall glass. Add ice, Rometti Limoncello and club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge and basil.