Saunders was a master of taking old classics and giving them inventive new life—in this case a Mojito, which she tops with Champagne. She began work on the drink while working at Beacon and completed it when at Tonic. “The working title was El Cubano.” As with the Gin-Gin Mule, she was tinkering with the Mojito model. Instead of white rum, she put in aged rum. “So, OK, Old Cuban. There. Then, let’s make it festive and top it with Champagne.” Call it a Mojito Royale. The drink is probably seen on more menus worldwide than any other Audrey Saunders creation, particularly in London.
Reprinted with permission from A Proper Drink by Robert Simonson, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House.