I’m not a great spirits drinker. Yes from time to time I’ll enjoy a digestif – good malt, vieux Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac or an aged rum if I have any about. Often it’s the aromas I enjoy more than the taste.
When I was a teenage apprentice drinker I experimented briefly with various spirit mixes – vodka and lime, rum and coke etc. Fortunately this was long before the advent of binge drinking.
Later I used to enjoy a whisky and soda especially in hot weather. I have never got into cocktails, although from time to time I read that they have become fashionable again. I will admit that on the two occasions I spent a few days in the West Indies I did get into rum punches.
For many years it’s been wine for the apéritif and then carried on into the evening meal. There are just a couple of exceptions – Pisco Sours on the occasions that I’m in Chile and more recently Modération’s slimmed down Lisbon Mojito.
In 2006 I was in Chile for ten days or so with a really interesting group of international wine journalists, who had many different perspectives. One of those of the trip was Louis Havaux, the eminent founder of Revue Belge des Vins and former president of FIJEV. Although Chile has not signed up to Le Loi Evian 1991, Louis and I were careful that our consumption of Pisco Sours remained modest. We developed a simple but effective mantra – un, deux, trois Piscos et stop!
Readers of my last week’s post will have been introduced to the admirable Modération and noted her wisdom. As you would imagine being a wise bird she prefers simplicity over complexity. Her slimmed down mojito is an excellent example of a return to basics.
It occurs to me that writing about a non-grape based spirit may contravene Les 5 du Vin’s hallowed décret d’association. Sadly I don’t seem to have a copy of our décret – doubtless it awaits a signature at L’Institut National des Amateurs Originaux (INAO) – so I can't immediately check this.
Anyway back to Modération’s mojito. I understand that the classic Cuban recipe has five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice), lime, sparkling water and mint. In Cuba spearmint is used. Modération has reduced the five ingredients to two: juice of a lime and Cachaça – Brazilian white rum. Thanks to Moderation’s genius this can be served in a martini rather than the more usual highball glass.
Assembling Modération’s mojito is simplicity itself:
Pour the juice of one freshly squeezed lime into a Martini glass, which may be chilled if you wish but is not essential. Take the bottle of Cachaça from the freezer – best to keep a bottle there in case of emergencies. Hold bottle in right hand and pour until hand becomes too painfully cold to grip bottle. Switch to left hand and repeat – again until assailed by cold. Served immediately.
Don’t OD on the lime!