Why You Might Want To Stop Muddling Your Mint For Mojitos

muddling mint in glass
muddling mint in glass - Grafvision/Shutterstock

A mojito is a delicious cocktail made of refreshing ingredients like lime juice, mint leaves, white rum, soda water, and a dash of something sweet, like sugar or simple syrup. Many people love this classic libation for its light flavors and its simplicity of creation compared to other cocktails. While it's hard to mess this sweet drink up, there is one common mistake people tend to make with this cocktail: they choose to muddle the mint. While this might seem like a harmless way to elevate a cocktail, muddling does more harm than good in this case. Muddling mint brings out the innate bitterness hidden within these leaves, leaving your cocktail with a subtle, yet unsavory bite.

You're doing more work for nothing by muddling mint for a mojito, so skip this step and enjoy the simplicity of a mint leaf as a simple garnish instead. Unless you enjoy the bitter flavor, that is. Still, if you're not getting enough mint flavor when it's only being used as a garnish, there is a simple way to bring out the flavor of mint leaves without muddling them.

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What You Should Be Doing With Your Mint Leaves Instead

cocktail shaker with mojito ingredients
cocktail shaker with mojito ingredients - New Africa/Shutterstock

If you're craving more minty flavor in your mojitos -- but still want to avoid the bitter taste that comes with muddling -- not all hope is lost. There is an easy way to bring out the cooling sensations of mint: just throw a few mint leaves in your cocktail shaker. When you reach the step in the cocktail-making process where you throw your ingredients in a shaker, pick a few mint leaves off of the stem and throw them in there too. Now you can shake this all together, strain everything into a glass, and reap the benefits of that added chilled mint flavor.

This shaking action is a lot less intense than the pressure exerted by a muddling tool, so the mint leaves won't release their innate bitter flavors. Plus, the mint leaves will still retain their shape and color and won't become wilted or bruised. Overall, this simple swap in the process makes for a cleaner and happier-looking cocktail, as well as a more consistently sweet taste. So, if you're on board with this easy switch, why not try it out for yourself?

How To Make The Perfect Mint Mojito

mojito in glass cup
mojito in glass cup - Anton Vierietin/Shutterstock

There are a lot of different ways to make a mojito, but the absolute best recipes have one thing in common: they don't complicate the process. Mojitos of all types are generally easy to create, from those spicy jalapeño varieties to other classic choices, and adding some steps to the creation process doesn't always mean a better cocktail. It just means more work.

So, to make the perfect mojito, pick a few fresh mint leaves off of the stem. Now combine your leaves, 2 ounces of white rum, 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 ounce of simple syrup, and a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Gently shake this mixture until just combined. Now fill a glass with ice (to your liking) and strain the contents of the shaker into this cup. Top this mixture with a splash of club soda or soda water for some lively bubbles, and add in a lime wedge for a sour punch. Finally, finish garnishing this drink by twisting a sprig of mint and gently sticking it in your glass. Now, you've got a sweet and bright mint mojito ready to be indulged in.

A mint mojito is both light and refreshing, and the process of creating one should reflect those characteristics. Be gentle when crafting a mojito, and enjoy the smooth and easy taste that follows.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.