The final result: a composition of green chillies and limes.
Grabbed car keys, and zoomed to the nearest supermarket - found the liquor aisle and noted that hard liquor is kept in glass cabinets under lock and key with instruction to the potential purchaser to "press a button to call for assistance from staff". Always wondered about the high security, and never understood the reason for this cloak and dagger routine for hard liquor when cans of beer and bottles of wines are freely available on the shelf, some of which may be even more expensive than that bottle of gin or rum in the locked cabinet.
Anyway, back home from that supermarket jaunt, I was plucking mint leaves that were still in 'mint condition', and removing the bruised and blackened leaves. I didn't have a proper 'muddler' - a special stick, like a teeny slim baton, which bartenders use to bruise the mint leaves with the lime slices in the sugar at the bottom of a collins glass (i.e. a tall slim glass) before adding the ice cubes, rum and soda water. And used instead my trusty IKEA mini pestle and mortar.
- For two glasses of mojito, I 'muddled' 10 mint leaves together with about 2 tablespoons of sugar and the juice squeezed from 1 lime - 'muddle' means to bruise the leaves to release the mint aroma oils from the leaves (the sugar particles helps in this process) but do not pound the leaves or use too vigorous a 'muddling' action as you may end up instead with broken and minute particles of mint leaves in your drink.
- Transfer the mortar ingredients into 2 glasses and add ice cubes.
- Add a shot of Bacardi Rum (white rum) and top up with soda water.
- Stir to ensure that the sugar is dissolved (although I note in some recipes, they propose using sugar syrup, but hey, I want a drink in 5 minutes and not spend an extra 5 minutes at the stove making sugar syrup).
- For a professional-looking finish, add a slice of lime to the edge of the glass and a sprig or two of mint leaves - you can skip this part if you're not taking a picture of your Mojito cocktail!
Because I had some green chillies, I wondered if a green chilli mojito would taste good with extra kick from the peppery taste - and feeling a bit adventurous (could have been the effect of that one earlier shot of bacardi rum), I added a few slices of green chillies to the mint leaves for muddling together with the sugar to make my second glass.
VERDICT: Never tinker with a Cuban recipe that's fool-proof. Green chillies have no place in a mojito cocktail at all. [this is a lesson to show that common sense sometimes leaves the room after a bit of alcohol comes in!]
By the way, you really should drop by this uber-cool website developed by the Bacardi Rum people to promote the mojito cocktail. Unfortunately, entrance only allowed to those above the age of 18, the legal age for drinking in certain countries, including Singapore (I think).