The winner of our recent Mojito tasting, Jelani Johnson typically opts for a true Cuban rum in this cocktail, preferring Havana Club 3-year-old. Knowing that that product is not readily available, he opted for two ounces of Flor de Caña 4 Year Old, along with one ounce of simple syrup and a three-quarters of an ounce of lime juice, which he likes to hand squeeze in order to get some oil from the skin into the drink. Uniquely, Johnson calls on three types of ice—cracked, cubed and crushed—which served to keep the mint in place at the bottom of the glass and prevent over-dilution of the drink. The tasting panel liked the blend of ices and the richness of the rum, and found the drink to be refreshing, crisp and cold.
Jelani Johnson’s Mojito
Jelani Johnson, Clover Club | Brooklyn, NY
- 2 ounces light rum, preferably Havana Club 3 Year or Flor de Caña 4 Year
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 1 ounce soda water
- 8-10 mint leaves
Garnish: mint bouquet
- In a pilsner glass, gently muddle the mint leaves in the simple syrup.
- Add the lime juice and rum then stir to integrate.
- Add three cracked ice cubes and three whole ice cubes.
- Add the soda water and gently agitate with a bar spoon to integrate ingredients.
- Top the glass with a small mound of crushed ice.
- Garnish with a lavish plume of mint and a straw.