There are several secrets to making a truly excellent mojito, all of which I’ll be divulging here, but the most important is to use more mint than you think you want, and to muddle the hell out of it. The most common mojito mistake is to go light on the mint and just swish it around the glass — it is remarkable how many bars turn this great, simple cocktail into a bucket of lime-sugar-water with a whole bunch of rum and mint at the bottom and a glass of clear seltzer at the top.
Unlike a mint julep, a mojito shouldn’t have just a kiss of mint: a proper mojito will be redolent with the stuff, the aroma and flavor blending with juicy lime for a clear, clean, refreshing cocktail that’s equally at home on the beach as it is in a high-end cocktail bar.
One of my favorite places for a mojito in Manhattan is Amor Cubano in East Harlem. The bartenders there are generous with the mint, they take their time — and effort — muddling, and then they garnish with a piece of raw sugar cane, which I love.
This article was originally published on August 22, 2015.