Mojito Making: Round Two

IMG_6364Last weekend, Laura and I headed to a Mojito Master Class. We had such a great time in our attempt to master the mojito, we decided to continue the pursuit in perfecting our new craft. So just four days later, we were back in the hands of the Ping Pong bar master for another round of beverage lessons… this time accompanied by amazing food!

Being gluten free doesn’t usually put a damper on my foodie adventures, however dim sum is probably one of the more difficult menus to navigate… and Ping Pong is a dim sum restaurant. Luckily this establishment is prepared for people like me and has an entire gluten free menu!!! I’ve actually found London in general to be pretty accommodating for those of us affected by gluten intolerance – many menus are allergen marked and/or have a separate gluten free menu of items. Ping Pong sent out round after round of piping hot, gluten free nibbles for me as my friends shared other dishes. I prepared my stomach for the alcohol to come with edamame, a vegetable and rice pot in black bean sauce, rice and meat rolled in banana leaves, a carrot and squid salad, and a citrus mochi ball. It was a feast!

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After all that food it was time for drinks! I graduated from the classic mojito on to a blackberry and chambord variation. The result: sweet and refreshing!

IMG_6376Ingredients:
– 4 blackberries
– 3 lime wedges
– 1.5 tsp. sugar
– 10 mint leaves
– double shot of rum
– 1 Tb. chambord
– crushed ice
– optional garnish: two mint leaves and a lime wedge

Method: Add the blackberries, lime wedges, and sugar to a glass and muddle well. Add the mint leaves, rum, and crushed ice so that the glass is 1/3 full. Using a bar spoon, stir, pulling the mint towards the top. Pack the glass with crushed ice until full. Top with chambord. Garnish and enjoy!

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Mojito Master Class

It’s no secret that I’m a wine girl. But when I want to up the ante a bit, rum is my go-to liquor. So it makes sense that mojitos are one of my favorite beverages. I’ve had my fair share of these beauties over the years. When I studied abroad in Spain, I regularly ordered mojitos that were from a machine that emitted mojito mix, rum was poured in, and maybe a few mint leaves were thrown on top if the bar was feeling fancy that day. They were cheap, the size of small pitchers, and generous with the rum so that became my usual.

master barman 2But let’s be honest – that’s not a proper mojito. A proper mojito requires fresh lime and sometimes some muddling… what is that you ask? I didn’t know either. Until Sunday that is when I attended an Indytute Mojito Master Class by Ping Pong located at the incredible Battersea Power Station. My friend Laura and I arrived early and were served (yup, you guessed it) a mojito to keep us busy. Once our fellow cocktail classmates arrived, the madness began. Demonstrations were thorough, but once the competition started, limes, sugar, and rum were flying in every which direction as we attempted to make the best mojito in the shortest amount of time. As the recipes got more elaborate and the intoxication level rose, the master barman’s face after each taste got funnier and funnier. “Did you forget to add ________?” became a common question. In the end we let him make our drinks while we sat in the sun and enjoyed a lazy summer Sunday.

Now that I’m completely sober, let me enlighten you on how to make a proper mojito… I am now a master after all.

mojito 1Ingredients:
– 1 Tb. lime juice
– 1 Tb. simple syrup
– 10 fresh mint leaves
– a double shot of rum
– a dash of soda water
– 1 lime wedge
– crushed ice

Method: Add the lime juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves, to your glass. Add crushed ice so the glass is about 1/4 full. Using a bar spoon, mix the ingredients, pulling the mint leaves toward the top. Add the rum. Fill the glass completely with ice. Stir again. Top with a dash of soda water, a fresh lime wedge, and mint leaves for garnish.

Viola! A classic mojito made with fresh ingredients!

mojito 2

ping pong sunday fun day

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