The modern Mojito does more than quench the thirst. The sweet mixture of liquor and juice has the power to transport the drinker away from the everyday to holiday.
This year, some of the local bars are serving up even more variations on the classic, which can please every palate.
A barrel of rum
Rum is distilled liquor made from sugar cane or molasses. After fermentation it produces sweet flavored liquor. It comes in different grades including: light, golden, spiced, dark, and the newer flavored rums that are infused with fruit like citrus, orange, or coconut.
Traditionally, the darker color comes from aging in wooden casks. The darker the rum, the longer the aging process.
Rum has a distinct taste unlike its more modest cousin Vodka. Rum envelops the senses with the heavy aroma of molasses and spice, and lingers on the palate long after the first sip. It can stand up to the rich taste of coconut or a juicy rum punch.
Although first developed in the Caribbean, its popularity spread to Colonial America and continued until the American Revolution. Gradually, rum consumption was pushed aside by the development of whiskey. It remained a largely less thought of liquor until the refinement process was improved in the late 19th century.
The modern Mojito
Rum's popularity has once again increased with the desire for exciting cocktails. Modern drinkers' tastes aren't merely satisfied with a simple mixer. They crave variety, fresh ingredients and new flavors. The Mojito has gained awareness only in the last 20 years, and received notice for the last five. The classic Mojito is a mix of rum, fresh mint, limes and club soda, yet now reaches a newer audience with fresh fruits and spices.
Many of the Hudson County's bars and restaurant have come up with their own recipe, which tweaks the original into more sophisticated blends. Some of the newer Mojito mixes include: mango, pomegranate, lemongrass, and mango.
The berry Mojito is mixed with strawberries, raspberries, or even blueberries, which give the drink a subtle aftertaste of fruit.
By adding citrus flavors, the Mojito becomes slightly tart and refreshing when adding orange or lemon.
For a sweeter taste, pineapple or coconut round out the drink taking it all the way to tropical.
Yet there are still more flavors including: apple, peach, vanilla, or honeydew.
You can sample these and other fine flavors at your favorite hotspot! (See sidebar for a list of bars with Mojitos.) Whatever your pleasure, it is easy to satisfy your craving for fresh ingredients and smooth rum with the Mojito. It will indulge your taste for the extraordinary cocktail. Enjoy!
MAKE YOUR OWN MOJITO
A mint infused Mojito can add punch to any summer gathering.
When making them at home, you must have the base ingredients including: rum, sugar, fresh mint, fresh limes and club soda. When adding fresh fruit, top in the mixture after the mint is muddled. (Note that a Mojito must always have sugar and mint, but lemon can substitute lime.)
Start with a tall rocks glass or drink tumbler.
Put a spoonful of sugar in the bottom of the glass.
Add fresh mint and three pieces of lime.
Using the back of a spoon, muddle the fruit and mint to release the flavors.
Add ice and your preference of rum.
Top with club soda and garnish with lime and mint.
BARS SERVING MOJITOS
Abby's Pub, 407 Monmouth St., Jersey City
Amanda's, 908 Washington St., Hoboken
Azucar, 495 Washington Blvd., Jersey City
Baja, 117 Montgomery St., Jersey City
Brass Rail, 135 Washington St., Hoboken
Café Spice, 537 Washington Blvd., Jersey City
Chart House, Lincoln Harbor, Weehawken
City Bistro, 56 14th St, Hoboken
Cyprus Tavern, 784 Garfield Ave., Jersey City
The Gaslight, 400 Adams St., Hoboken
Hamilton Park Ale House, 708 Jersey Ave., Jersey City
Hard Grove Café, 319 Grove St., Jersey City
Hudson Café, 540 Washington Blvd., Jersey City
Iron Monkey, 97 Greene St., Jersey City
Komegashi, 103 Montgomery St., Jersey City
Lamp Post Bar & Grill, 382 Second St., Jersey City
LITM, 140 Newark Ave., Jersey City
Lua, 1300 Sinatra Dr., Hoboken
The Madison, 1316 Washington St., Hoboken
Mile Square, 221 Washington St., Hoboken
Oddfellows Rest., 80 River St., Hoboken
Ole, 564 Washington Blvd., Jersey City
The Quays, 310 Sinatra Dr., Hoboken
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, 1000 Harbor Blvd., Weehawken
Sabor, 8809 River Road, North Bergen
South City Grill, 70 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City