Issue No. 105 —


Like the Mai Tai and the Manhattan, there are multiple schools of thought on building the perfect Mojito. If you’re looking to learn the old method of mixing the Mojito directly in the glass, check out the Havana Club website for some interesting videos. They’ll show you what you need to know.

As for me, I don’t like a mint salad in my drink. I’ll take the flavor, and leave the flotsam behind. So, for this post, we’re going to make a shaken Mojito. But don’t call me crazy for making my Mojito this way—Jim Meehan of PDT makes his the same way. You can also see this technique in the Speakeasy Cocktails App for the iPad.

First, a few notes on how to guarantee success. If your mint is fresh, you won’t need to muddle it at all. Shaking the drink with large ice (1″ by 1″) will do the work of incorporating the mint in the cocktail instead. But if you want to be extra safe, you can always give your mint a few light taps in your shaker with a muddler before shaking with the ice, but be careful not to over-muddle. The most common mistake in Mojito preparation is too much mudding which results in a bitter flavor.

Finally, once you’ve given it all a good shake, you’ll need to use a fine tea strainer to catch all of the mint particles. I think you’ll find that the resulting drink is cleaner and sleeker than with the in-glass Mojito preparation method.


  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1 oz simple syrup (1:1)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 mint sprig for garnish
  • 1 lime wheel for garnish (optional)
  • 1 oz club soda

Pick 10 mint leaves. Place in your hand and clap your hands together to wake up the mint. Place into cocktail shaker. Add 1 oz of simple syrup and then give the mint a few taps with a muddler. Add the rum, lime juice, and ice to your shaker. Shake well. Double strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with 1 oz of club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and an optional lime wheel.

BTW: The Mojito seen in the picture was made on vacation in Nicaragua so my glassware options were limited.

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