I never succeeded in making the perfect mojito at home. The bartender at Door 74 gave me his recipe. Now in July 2012 I finally took the time to try it out. It's a winner! It has more sugar than I would allow myself, but it seems a mojito needs quite a lot of sugar to make it taste raw. Disclaimer: I have never been to Cuba.
List of ingredients:
8-10 mint leaves
15 ml lime juice
10 ml sugar syrup (2 parts cane sugar, 1 part water)
2 teaspoons raw sugar
50 ml Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
Make you own sugar syrup by boiling 2 parts cane sugar and 1 part water:
Your own sugar syrup. 10 ml is two tea spoons.
Lightly crush 8 to 10 mint leaves by hand.
Get a tumbler ready for that precious Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum.
Crush ice cubes at this point. I use a hand ice crusher, which has developed some rust. It's always beyond me why companies use non-stainless steel in appliances which get wet.
Start with a tall glass (or any glass you prefer) and add 2 teaspoons raw sugar:
Squeeze half a lime, which should be 15 ml.
Now, mix the 2 teaspoons raw sugar, 10 ml sugar syrup, 15 ml lime juice, 50 ml rum and 8-10 mint leaves together with a spoon. Notice there is no muddling!
Add the crushed ice:
Top off with soda water and mix with a long cocktail spoon.
Garnish with mint sprig. This is the best mojito recipe I tried at home. It's sweet and dark.
You can't do much about the mint leaves. Either they smell great (fresh from the soil) or they hardly smell (when bought in a supermarket). The secret of a mojito is really the balance between sweet and sour. That's all there is to it.