September 5th, 2008
What is more fitting to celebrate the night of the Olympics opening ceremony than to hold a fun competition of your own?Â Only, instead of finding the best athlete, we were on a quest to concoct the best homemade Mojito!Â A clear, empty glass stands alone, ready to hold the best of the best!Â Let the games begin!
A standard Mojito requires 5 basic ingredients â€“ mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, rum, and club soda.Â Of course the variations are endless, as we would soon see.
7:00PM â€“ Warming up
The night began with preparation for the experimenting process.Â All participants, acting as judges, contributed a slew of liquor, including mango and coconut flavored rum, plus the original white and spiced rum.Â All types of sodas were put on the table, as well as seltzer and a Collins Mixer.Â A platter of fresh mint, cut limes, and exotic fruits were also necessary for the presentation points!
8:08PM â€“ The Olympics opening ceremony begins
With a spectacular lights and fireworks display by an army of professional drummers, the 2008 Olympic games officially begins in Beijing. The giant lit footsteps arriving to the stadium was awe-inspiring.Â The flying acrobatic figures symbolized harmony and peace, and conveyed magical spirit.Â The dance calligraphy performance on a large scroll of parchment was simply breath-taking.Â All it needed was a giant fridge with alphabet magnets!Â
In our living room, we were about to mix our first recipe.Â We were lacking a muddler, a usually wooden tool to mash spices, so a trusty fork was used to knead the mint.Â It is important not to shred the mint, but release the aromatic flavor.Â Next we added in about an ounce of bottled lime juice and sprinkled in some white sugar.Â White rum and ginger ale were poured in.Â We tossed in the ice cubes and passed the glass around the circle.Â
Not too badâ€¦but what about brown sugar this time?Â And more alcohol definitely.Â
Each round of Mojito making became blurred as we tossed out measuring utensils and went with our gut.Â We tried all sorts of sugar, even brewing a sugar syrup, which we found not really necessary as you can pretty much control the sweetness with the type of soda or with the trusty Canada Dry Collins Mixer â€“ fast beginning to be our preferred mixer.Â The coconut rum was a bit too strong, especially when the Mojito is supposed to be light and refreshing.Â We also began crushing our ice cubes, a feat rather precarious on a glass coffee table.
11:45PM â€“ Eye on the gold
The Mojito started looking more festive, with convoluted steps â€“ â€œLetâ€™s splash in some mango V8 before the rum! â€“ and even more elaborate finishing touches, such as embellishing the rim of the glass with cantaloupe slices.Â By the end of the night, many other cocktail concoctions also entered the race.Â Our taste buds and judgment were finally a bit unreliable, but the liquor of choice for the Mojito was a DonQ Puerto Rican white rum.Â With unanimous agreement on what went into the eveningâ€™s best mixes, all we needed to do was prepare the concoction to display in our still empty glass.Â
Spreading the remainder of the mint and fruit in the center of the table for the photo-op, we proudly draped the gold medal in front of the Mojito.
And with our own sticky glasses held high, we saluted our efforts and brilliant creativity just as the final torch runner, Olympic champion Li Ning, reached the giant Olympic cauldron in Birdâ€™s Nest stadium and set it to a brilliant blaze.