Mojito Magic

Mojito's have been served in Cuba since the 1880's, when it was the beverage of choice for the sugar cane farmers. Traditionally seen as a drink of the masses, mojito's were long spurned by the upper crust of Cuba in favor of daiquiri's. Thanks to a little restaurant in Havana called La Bodeguita del Medio and a well-known fan of the beverage named Ernest Hemingway, this minty fresh beverage eventually gained popularity among celebrities and the elite. Now, mojito's are a trendy libation served in the hippest bars across the country. Join the mojito madness and try your hand at making this tasty Cuban drink:

Ingredients

2 ounce Cruzan Light (or other light rum)
Fresh Limes
1 ounce Simple Syrup or Guarapo
Mint Leaves
Soda Water
Ice

To make a perfect mojito you will also need some special tools; a good muddler, a sturdy highball glass and a metal shaker. 

Preparation

To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a pot and cook on high, continuously stirring until all sugar is dissolved. Be sure to keep it from boiling! You want a syrup, not caramel. You can skip this step if you choose to use guarapo (sugar cane juice). Guarapo will provide a more natural and less sweet flavor.

Now you're ready to make the perfect mojito:

1. Quarter the limes and remove mint leaves from stems.

2. Muddle a big pinch of mint with the juice of one lime in the bottom of the highball glass.

3. Add ice.

4. Pour in 1 oz. simple syrup or guarapo, followed by 2 oz. light rum. Glass should be approximately 3/4 full.

5. Shake mixture well! All ingredients should be fully blended. Top off with soda water, garnish with lime wedge, mint leaf or sugar cane and serve immediately.