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These instructions will make you master of that refreshing summer beverage: the mojito! Why? Because I care about humanity, refreshment, and summer happiness. These instructions will allow a mixed drink newbie, or even a general kitchen one, to become an expert with just a few swipes of a smartphone! Take twenty to thirty minutes of your day and learn the art of the mojito. Soon you will be on your front porch with a summer read, your favorite pair of sunglasses, and a fabulously refreshing mojito in your hand. Happy summer!



Photo credit: culinnovation.com

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

Ingredients
• Sugar
• Water
• Fresh Mint
• Fresh Limes
• Bacardi Rum
• Lime or Lemon Juice Concentrate
• Ice
• Club Soda

Tools
• Saucepan
• 2 Wooden Spoons
• Shot Glass
• Margarita Shaker
• Lime Juicer
• Several Bowls
• Highball Glasses
• Straws

Step 2: Prepare Fresh Mint

• Wash fresh mint in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
• Place several full mint sprigs into the saucepan.
• Remove about 10-15 individual mint leaves for each mojito, and place them in the bottom of each highball glass.
• Place mint-filled glasses in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Make Your Simple Syrup

• Place your saucepan containing the fresh mint sprigs on the stove.
• Add equal parts water and sugar (i.e. 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar) to create your simple syrup.
• Cook on medium heat and stir until simple syrup comes to a boil.
• Remove from heat and cool.
• (Optional: You can use less water initially and add some ice cubes after the syrup boils. This will accelerate cooling.)

Step 4: Prepare Your Lime Juice

• Roll your limes forcefully on a hard countertop. This makes the limes soft and juicy in preparation for squeezing!
• Cut limes in half with a sharp knife and place them cut side down into a hand-held lime juicer and squeeze away!
• (Note: You will need more lime juice than you think, so squeeze at least six limes. If you have extra juice you can always save it for later.)

Warning: Please be careful with the soft limes and the sharp knife.

Step 5: Prepare Your Glasses

• Remove glasses from refrigerator.
• Using a wooden-handled spoon, gently crush the fresh mint leaves in the bottom of highball glasses. Don’t break them too small, and don’t do too little. The key is to get the juices flowing from the mint leaves without having them so small that you drink them through the straw.
• Fill glasses with ice and set aside.

Step 6: Prepare Your Shaker

• Fill a cocktail shaker almost all the way with ice.
• Assemble your four key shaker ingredients:
   - Simple Syrup
   - Fresh Lime Juice
   - Bacardi Rum
   - Lime/Lemon Concentrate

Step 7: Mix That Drink!

• Take a shot glass and your ice-filled shaker and get to mixing! Here is an excellent ratio of ingredients for a basic mojito:
   - 2 shots Bacardi rum
   - 1 shot fresh lime juice
   - 1 ½ shots simple syrup
   - Tiny drop of lime/lemon concentrate
• Measure each shot over the shaker and add it in. Close the shaker lid and begin shaking with a vigorous up-and-down motion. The shaker will get super cold and icy as you shake, and when you feel like you can’t stand it anymore, your mojito is ready!

Step 8: Pour Glasses

• Remove the cap from the shaker, and pour your mojito beverage through the top strainer into your glasses prepared with mint and ice.
• When pouring, leave at least an inch of free space remaining at the top of the glass.
• Use club soda to top off the drink. You really only need a little bit of this for some subtle sparkle, so don’t overdo it!
• Place a straw in the glass and move it up and down a couple times to mix the drink and mint.
• (Optional: Slice an extra lime into round, circular slices. Cut a slit half-way through the lime circle, and slide it onto the rim of your mojito glass. This is a pretty, refreshing final garnish for your drink.)

Step 9: Enjoy Your Mojito

• Take your delightful drink outside and enjoy!
• Also note that mojitos are best enjoyed with good friends, sunshine, a fresh breeze, and lots of Mexican food. Mariachi band optional!

Step 10: Extra Ideas

• Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, so I usually make a big batch of it and then create drinks from the stored syrup. This is great because you can skip the entire wait involved with hot syrup!
• If you want pink mojitos, add a splash of Grenadine before the addition of the club soda.
• You can create virgin mojitos with this recipe too (it’s basically glorified limeade!). Simply omit the rum and add one more shot of both lime juice and simple syrup:
   - 2 shots fresh lime juice
   - Tiny drop of  lime/lemon juice concentrate
   - 2 ½ shots simple syrup
Sometimes you need even more simple syrup than 2 ½ ounces, it depends on the sweet tooth of the person you are preparing the virgin drink for. Experiment and have fun with this!

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