Zen and the Art of Mojito Simplicity


Some things are best left unmolested- paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, a perfect ripe fig, Ennio Morricone scores, and mojitos. These days everything is remixed, mashed with something else, fused culturally , dumbed down and f-ed up to accommodate our ever diminishing attention spans and need to consume newness for the sake of new. Movies are remade, and lounge versions of ’90 death metal circulate at restaurants like elevator music for hip adults . Just try to find a Mojito recipe that isn’t spoiled with white chocolate, peach, cloudberries, or basil to accommodate the creators sense of  creative self worth. It is simple, sometimes things that are good and perfect must be left alone. I don’t want an E-Type Jaguar with those huge and stupid chrome rims, and I don’t want Valrhona chocolate in my summer drink .


Here they are:

Cuban Rum, preferably Havana Club dark.

Fresh, washed mint.

White Sugar.

Soda Water. Not San Pellegrino or Perrier, but Soda Water.

Ice, in cubes.

Limes   (thanks Jules)

Add a Tablespoon of sugar to the glass with many sprigs of fresh mint. Use more mint than you think that you need. Smash the hell out of the mint and the sugar with a mortar, or as I like to use a stalk of sugar cane until it is seriously bruised.

Add rum and mix with mint. Use a lot of rum, why screw around with the active ingredient?

Add the ice in cubes. (crushed ice dilutes everything too quickly and is for tourists and dilettantes)

Add soda water to fill, and mix well by pouring in another cup and back again.

It is best to drink Mojitos in Havana while chain-smoking Russian cigarettes, but anywhere hot and humid will do. Do not drink Mojitos in Michigan during the winter, that is like drinking Sake at Thanksgiving – It is pointless, lacks context, and shows the world that you are a Philistine and a poor host.

For the photograph I used a backlit shooting table and a silver reflector to the left, Broncolor strobes, a D3 Nikon and a 100mm Zeiss Makro Planar ZF.2 lens. The photo has real ice cubes, not fake acrylic, and the mojitos were enjoyed after the photoshoot.

2 Responses to “Zen and the Art of Mojito Simplicity”

  1. jules says:

    Call me ignorant, or if you must, a philistine, but in the picture it looks like white rum was used plus a sixth (imho quite important) ingredient, limes?

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Jules. I should never drink and write and write posts from a position of athoritah.
    The rum was dark though, I just used it sparingly for the photo, and topped it off for consumption. Dark rum looks like hell in photos.

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