Mojito: A Bartender’s Manifesto

February 3, 2016 9:00 am

MojitoMojitos – sheer, irresistible beauties. That subtle sweetness of crystal-clear rum punctuated by the sharp acidity of fresh lime and that tingle sent up your spine by spanked mint and crushed ice – I know it, I know you know it too.

Friday night. You walk into a bar, you’re in that interesting chat with your mates, the menu’s too long, you just want a drink…something refreshing…something…a mojito. But it’s Friday night, the bar is busy, you spend some good effort to wade through the loud drunks. Great! Now you have the bartender’s attention.

You order a mojito. You don’t hear that grunt under his breath. You wait, unaware of the anatomy of the mojito…

Fresh lime…yes, fresh lime. Pre-made mojito from a bottle is blasphemy, old lime juice taste like acid for clogged toilets, so, fresh lime it is, always. Now I muddle, gently, for just that little bit of essential oil. Zesty, not bitter…Oh, I wish I didn’t have such bear hands! One, two, three. Nice. That was hard, I ain’t no pastry chef.

Sugar syrup…Just a little, alright. I need that sweet-and-sour balance purrrrr-fect!

Fresh mint, picked and spanked. Right. We, supposedly, have very nice mint. Somebody must have slipped up on bar prep. Or we’ve run out, or somebody’s forgotten to order some the day before, or the grocer’s decided we’re not worthy of nice mint. So you want a mojito, why yes, that’s fine. We’ve got 2-days-old, withered, blackened mint, we can use those. We sigh, we spank that seaweed, we cringe, and put it in that crystal-clear glass before your eyes. You stare at what you just paid for, but the show must go on. Not my best work, (tsk!) but what could I do?

Next, crushed ice. Jesus Christ, where’s the rolling pin? Nothing’s quite big, fat and strong enough to crush ice in this medieval bar. Nobody’s paying for a crushed ice machine. And no, we don’t want shaved ice…I’ll just bash up some in this shaker tin then. Now I hate these dense, large ice cubes. Where’s shitty ice when we need it? Oh fuck, crushed ice is flying all over the place.

Crushed ice in. Now we churn. No, no, no, no, no! Not this end of the bar spoon, that! The blunt end! Who hired this new guy? I feel sorry for you, mate, I might be able to find you a toothpick for when you need to get those bits of mint off your teeth.

Rum…yes, rum, the alcohol, the ingredient that ensnares you. The star. Wait, did I put it in? Yes? No? Is this just melted ice? You must be kidding me. Why didn’t that guy wait his turn instead of demanding attention with 100 different stupid questions in the middle of my glorious cocktail construction? Alright, I’m sticking a straw in to find out. Taste, taste, taste.

More crushed ice – Like a peak…like a peak….like a peak…There! I hope it holds up for at least a while.

Wow, look at this beauty, just a splash of carbo[nation] from my soda gun…

Straw…one or two? One, two’s too much. Clear or striped? Striped. I’m feeling fancy.

I need a mint sprig for garnish! But I only have that seaweed! Alright, no garnish, or maybe just some lime…and presto! I’m so proud of myself.

I look up at you. You’re not looking at my performance. Most likely your head’s turned and you’re chatting with friends.


“Oh! Is it ready?” you say, “Fantastic, I’m so thirsty!” And you suck the life out of it in 20 seconds. “Can I have another one please?”


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