Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

4 original mojito recipes

New takes on a classic - and often overlooked - cocktail

The mojito has a reputation as a drink reserved for poolside all-inclusives, or as the touristy must-have during a visit to Bodeguita del Medio, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite haunts in Old Havana. Once travellers return home, “they almost forget about mojitos,” says Mitch McCaskill (Hospitality Management ’08), maître d’ at Ernest’s, NAIT’s fine dining restaurant.

The budding days of spring are when the drink is top of mind for McCaskill, maker of original cocktails for Ernest’s. “The freshness always reminds me of summer.”

Traditionally, that freshness is a product of mint, a fundamental ingredient in the drink, along with lime, sugar, rum and soda. Considering the drink’s base recipe to be “forgiving,” McCaskill doesn’t rule out experimentation.

Here are 4 new takes from the maître d’ and Ernest’s on a classic cocktail that has as much place in the northern Canadian backyard as the southern resort.

raspberry mohitoRaspberry Mojito

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large fresh mint leaves
  • 2 lemon wedge
  • 3 raspberries
  • Ice
  • 1 oz raspberry vodka
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 3 oz unsweetened iced tea (freshly brewed)
     

Method

Slap 1 mint leaf in palm to bring out its natural oils. Add to shaker tin with lemon wedge and 2 raspberries; muddle. Add 1 scoop of ice.

Add vodka, syrup, iced tea; shake. Pour into tulip glass. Garnish with mint leaf, 1 lemon wedge and 1 raspberry.

“It’s got that refreshing iced-tea flavour but’s it’s not too sweet,” says McCaskill.

midnight mohitoMidnight Mojito

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large fresh mint leaves
  • 2 orange wedges
  • 2 blackberries
  • 5 blueberries
  • Ice
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Soda
     

Method

Slap 1 mint leaf in palm to bring out its natural oils. Muddle the leaf, 1 orange wedge, 1 blackberry and 2 blueberries in a shaker tin. Add rum, syrup and a scoop of ice; shake.

Transfer to tulip glass and fill with soda (pour it in the shaker first to collect left-behind fruit pulp and flavour), leaving room for garnish: 1 orange wedge and a “mint boat.” Place mint leaf on surface of drink and carefully layer with a blackberry flanked on each side by a blueberry.

“I wanted something darker,” says McCaskill, who jotted down the idea for the drink one night before falling asleep.

peach mohitoPeachito

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 peach wedge (optional)
  • Ice
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz peach syrup (such as Monin’s)
  • Soda
     

Method

Slap 1 mint leaf in palm to bring out its natural oils. Muddle the leaf and lime wedge in a shaker tin. Add rum, syrups and a scoop of ice.

Transfer to tulip glass. Fill glass with soda (poured from shaker). Garnish with a mint leaf and lime wedge.

“It’s not overbearing,” says McCaskill. The drink stays true to its roots while adding a mild peach twist. “It’s a very good balance.”

chameleon butterfly pea flower mohitoThe Chameleon

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large fresh mint leaf
  • Ice
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 3 drops butterfly pea flower extract
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Soda
     

Method

Slap mint leaf to bring out its natural oils. Combine with ice, rum and extract in shaker tin. Do not muddle. Shake and transfer to tulip glass. Fill glass with soda, leaving room for lemon juice.

Add lemon juice upon serving and stir gently. The bluish colour of the extract interacts with the lemon juice to turn mauve (check it out in the video below).

“It’s a unique drink,” says McCaskill. Guests at Ernest’s are invariably delighted as they watch the Cameleon’s colour change, likely having any preconceptions of mohitos altered as well.


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