I’m remiss to admit that I didn’t know that yesterday was national rum day. I don’t need an excuse to blog about a cocktail but I’ll throw in a little history for good measure in this case. It’s all about the sugar…
Today’s biggest sugar cane and rum producers are the islands located in the Caribbean. Sugar cane was first brought to the islands by Christopher Columbus in 1493. The Caribbean basin had a perfect climate for growing sugar cane. Sugar cane production quickly spread around the area as too did bars. Europeans planted sugar mills where harvested cane was crushed and juice was extracted. The sticky residue was left to ferment and in the 16th century, the fermented mixture started to be distilled into a spirit. The French gave it the title we know today as rum.
Initially, rum was used to cure aches and pains of those living in the tropics. Sugar cane plantation owners also sold it, at discounted prices to naval ships that were on the Caribbean in order to encourage their presence in local waters and discourage the attentions of marauding pirates. Ah, there’s a bit of trivia for you. Ahoy, matey! Now go mix up a mojito, the rum drink everyone should know how to make!
GO with love
12 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons white sugar, or better yet, simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum (I prefer Bacardi)
1/2 cup club soda
Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.