Last month I attended a really fun cocktail-making event with one of my best friends. Shake n’ Make was presented by Finka Table & Tap, Chat Chow, and The Doral Yard. As we arrived we were sat at our own socially-distance picnic table underneath the outdoors tent at The Doral Yard. In front of us there were two small bottles of Havana Club Rum, a shaker, a measuring jigger, pineapple juice, lemon juice, soda, pomegranate syrup, simple syrup, bitters, and herbs. The workshop started with an introduction of the much anticipated Barbakoa by Finka, Chef Eileen Andrade, Gio Gutierrez Chat Chow, and bartender extraordinaire Jasmin from Finka; who gave a brief history on the famous cocktail, Mojito.
The mojito is Miami’s cocktail because it’s the perfect cocktail for those hot and humid days; which in Miami is pretty much everyday. This cocktail is refreshing, light, and crisp. Did you know that the mojito’s origin story is often disputed? Early history suggest that the mojito’s original name is ‘el draque’ from the time when Sir Francis Drake landed in Cuba looking for gold in the 1500s. Many of his crew were suffering from a couple of ailments, and the locals were known to have remedies for many diseases. This remedy was made with aguardiente de caña, mint leaves, juices from sugar cane, and lime. Others believe the mojito came from African slaves working in the Cuban sugar fields, using aguardiente de caña and sugar cane alcohol. Whatever its origin may be the creation of the Bacardi company in the 1800s was most likely the cause of the cocktail’s rise in popularity. Specially, after the famous myth of Ernest Hemingway frequently visiting La Bodeguita del Medio for a mojito in the 1950s.
Our first cocktail was, of course, the mojito. Mine did not really taste that great, but then I remember I didn’t shake it enough, because the shaker was not as nearly as cold as it should have been. So, I put it back in the shaker and gave it a few more shakes (it’s not like I was doing in for a customer, right?). Then we were given three minutes to create our own cocktail using the ingredients provided. But, there was a catch … we could not taste our own cocktails until the judges tasted it themselves. I added the full mini bottle of Havana Club Rum, a little of pomegranate syrup, one of the bitters, herbs, and shook it until I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. After drinking it I realized it was too sweet, so I added a little bit of lemon juice and it totally balance it out. The winner of the competition got a gift card for Finka. Overall this was such a fun, interactive workshop. We didn’t go with the mindset of winning anything, it was just for fun. But, as soon as the competition kicks in, you want to win for sure, LOL!
Stay tuned for events like this happening soon at The Doral Yard. I hear there’s one coming up next month. 😉
Let’s make mojitos at home! After telling Alessa about my new post, she immediately got excited and wanted to make a cocktail.
Everyone knows that a great cocktail is made to order with fresh ingredients and a hint of love. The classic Mojito is made with your run of the mill mint. Don’t get me wrong, we love the stuff, though did you know there are different types of mint? Obviously, spearmint and peppermint, but the mint family is pretty big with over 600 varieties and flavor profiles.
Alessa has a few varieties growing in her garden and they are growing like weeds. So, here we are testing a couple of varieties for the cocktail. Orange mint vs. chocolate mint with a classic mojito recipe.
- You will need a shaker.
- Club soda.
- 2oz your choice of Rum (we used Havana Club)
- ½ Lime
- 2tbsp Sugar (we used raw sugar)
- 12 Mint leaves + 1 sprig for garnish
- Cut lime into 4 sections.
- Place lime into shaker along with the sugar and 12 mint leaves.
- Muddle until muddled well. Not muddled enough? Muddle some more.
- Add rum and ice.
- Vigorously shake all ingredients for 15 seconds.
- Pour entire content of shaker into highball glass.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish and enjoy!
AND THE WINNER IS ….. Orange Mint! Cheers!!