Have you ever chewed a raw sugar cane? It’s deliriously delicious. There’s nothing artificial on your palate as your saliva naturally mixes with an almost syrupy sensation that is as clean a confectionary bliss as you will experience: no chemical aftertaste, no cloying unsavory rankness on the tongue.
Put to the test, the pungency of smelling and tasting molasses versus the toothsome delight of sugar cane is parallel to sipping an ordinary rum next to 10 Cane.
Created from the first pressing of virgin cane, the double-distilled Trinidadian rum is light and smooth, elevating the experience of one of rum’s most sensational cocktails: THE MOJITO.
A Cocktail with History
Aged in French oak barrels for about six months allows just enough time to mellow the raw cane spirit of 10 Cane Rum without masking its freshness. But the balance of sugar cane and oak make it an exceptional base for a cocktail with history.
The first version of the Mojito was circa the early 1700s, known as the “Draqueito” or the “Draque,” named after Sir Francis Drake and/or Richard Drake, a gentleman pirate who sailed the seas at the time.
The drink – well established by the mid 1800s - preceded the use of ice and soda in cocktails. It would be decades later that ice would be introduced to the Mojito (which translates into “little wet one”) and Cuba, the country that brought it to its glory, made it popular through Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana in the late 1920s. The drink’s most famous supporter and imbiber was Ernest Hemingway, who indulged himself at a little downtown Havana grocery store called Bodeguita del Medio.
The use of mint made sense, not just because its botanical properties were called for in this specific recipe, but because it was a necessity in the early days to disguise poorly made rum that was not able to properly age.
Mint is prolific in Cuba, and throughout the world, there are 48 known varieties of the plant. Mint has become the base for the character of the Mojito, and ice and soda has enlivened the refreshing qualities of the cocktail.
From its humble roots in early 20th Century Cuba to its new-found fame, the Mojito has surpassed the Cosmopolitan and is quickly catching up to the drink that has been No.1 since the ‘50s, the Margarita.
Photo “S”: Cuba, the country that brought the Mojito to its glory, made it popular through Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana, before 1931.
How to Make a World Class Mojito
Champion Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi held a seminar for the trade on how to make a great Mojito. Concocting dozens of fresh recipes had a few ingredients in common: mint, soda, rock candy syrup, fresh lime juice and most important: 10 Cane Rum.
“A molasses based rum does not have the same bold and distinctive character of a sugarcane juice-based rum such as 10 Cane,” Lafranconi stated. “I develop drinks with the brand that works best according to the ingredients I work with. 10 Cane rum’s character is the most distinguished among white rums available in the U.S. market; it’s one great option.”
Creating mouth-watering cocktails is one talent, making them eye-appealing is another creative concept. “We live in a visual world,” Lafranconi points out.
The Pomegranate-Grapefruit Mojito
2 oz. 10 Cane Rum
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. Baristella rock candy syrup
1/2 oz. Amoretti Pomegranate Juice Concentrate
2 Ruby Grapefruit wedges (cut in halves)
8-10 mint leaves
2 dashed Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
Splash of club soda