This is a very simple and delicious drink to make, but unfortunately it gets muddled up (literally) too often. There are two important keys that will guarantee a perfect mojito every time. First, you must use fresh-squeezed lime juice. No premixes or bottled lime juice here — they just won't cut it. Second, the lime juice and simple syrup ratio must be 1:1. Do not take liberties. Use a jigger for accuracy. If you get these two things right, you'll be making perfect mojitos at every party!
Adapted from "101 Mojitos & Other Muddled Drinks" by Kim Haasarud.
In the bottom of a rocks glass, muddle the mint leaves with the lime juice and simple syrup. (Muddle lightly to just release the oils in the mint, do not pulverize the leaves.) Add the rum.
Top with crushed ice and the soda water. Stir well from the bottom up. Garnish with the mint sprig and serve.