Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mastering the Art of Making Mojitos with Botran Rum

If anyone ever asked what cocktail best represents Miami, most people would undoubtedly answer one thing, and one thing only: the Mojito.

Coming from the African word “mojo” (which means to place a little spell), this traditional Cuban drink has been enchanting Miami-ans for decades, becoming a signature staple of our cuisine. 

Ever since I moved to the Magic City, I too have become quite fond of this refreshing rum drink, so I was thrilled when the fine folks from Botran Rum and Perfecto Gastrobar invited me (and some of the city’s top food bloggers) to a mojito making class.

Surprise, Surprise was the name of the cocktail we received upon arrival at Perfecto, which was a great way to kick off our rum centric night. Made with a generous shot of Botran Rum, and a little bit of lemon, orange, and sugar, the Surprise Surprise ensured that everyone at the event had a fun night ahead.

Before we got into the mojito class, we got to learn a little bit more about Perfecto, courtesy of recently appointed chef James Tahhan

All the food bloggers, together with Chef James Tahhan (center)
This gastro pub has been in Brickell for over a year now, specializing in traditional catalan dishes like pan con tomate, paella, and potato croquetas, and the Venezuelan celebrity chef recently joined by bringing his expertise and Latin take to the mix. 

Some of the dishes that we sampled included the classic tortilla de papas (made just like in Spain, with a  little bit of runny egg in the middle), the croquetas (which were everyone’s favorites), and the Miami inspired avocado cannelloni, made with crab, tomato and ginger. All the dishes were impeccable and matched perfectly with our cocktails. 

Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette)
Potato Croquettes
Now, about those drinks. After many years of drinking mojitos, I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated of the idea of making my own. The truth is that I had already attempted making mojitos a few times, but they never seemed to taste quite right! 

Fortunately, the bartenders at Perfecto made it easy to learn, and broke it down into a few easy steps. Of course, the secret to making the perfect mojito (in addition to not squishing the mint!) is to use a high quality rum like Botran, which amplifies rather than competes with the lime and mint flavors.

I don’t know if it was the rum, the amazing food, or the great company, but everyone at the event had a great time, and the best part is that we all got to learn how to master these cocktails on our own!

Whether you are already a mojito expert, or like me, have always been curious about how to make the perfect one, here’s an easy recipe to try out at home. Practice it a few times, and you’ll be ready to show off your new skills at a party next weekend! 

You can thank the guys from Bortran and Perfecto for that! ;)

Deluxe Botran Mojito (aka Mojito Perfecto)

2oz Botran Reserva
1oz Simple Syrup
1oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
2 Sprigs Mint Leaves
Splash Club Soda

Muddle lime juice, mint leaves and simple syrup (be careful not to squish the mint too much!)
Add Botran rum. 
Shake three times and pour into a Collins glass, over ice. 
Top with club soda. 

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