I've been working on this, and have come up with a very tasty drink, indeed:
Make simple syrup by heating 1 c. water w/ 1 c. sugar, stir to dissolve, and chill.
For two drinks:
4 good sized mint leaves
Juice of one lime
2-3 oz light rum
Put fresh mint leaves and in bottom of glass. Add a bit of the lime juice & simple syrup. Smash up a bit (I use a tart tamper). You don't want to smash the mint to smithereens (hence the fish tank appearance) but release the flavor and oil.
Add lime juice, rum, a bit more sugar syrup, and top w/ seltzer. Taste for balance -- you want the mint to predominate w/ the sour of lime offset by sugar.
Mix up w/ ice, pour into two glasses.
Repeat as needed!
I had a mojito at Shinsei in Dallas a few days ago that substituted purple basil for the mint. It was amazing. They were very restrained in their use of simple syrup as well and the soda/rum ratio was perfect - the flavors were very balanced rather than trying to be a "stiff" drink.
The key with any cocktail is achieving that balance. More alcohol does not equal a better drink unless it's a martini.
I have a personal preference for sparkling water rather than club soda. I don't like the saltiness of club soda.
The recipe does not do service at all to the outcome! This drink is so refreshingly exciting that I promise you will not be disappointed and will certinly crave more than one!
Mojito Slushy (Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 4 to 6 limes
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, firmly packed
2 limes, zested
1/2 cup light rum
8 cups crushed ice
Mint sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. Set aside to cool.
Put the sugar syrup, lime juice, mint leaves, lime zest, and rum into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the ice and blend until slushy. Spoon into glasses; garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime slice.
The standard recipe uses soda, but from time to time I enjoy using ginger ale instead to add a little bit more complexity to the drink. If you try this, cut back on the simple syrup a little bit so to compensate for the added sweetness of ginger ale.
I was also at a bar out west that did a mojito with a few slices of cucumber. After making the bulk of the drink they would the whole thing into a shaker with the cucumber and serve it will the mint, lime and cucumber chunks.
1/2 of a lime
10-12 mint leaves torn
1/2 - 3/4 oz simple syrup (1 cup of sugar mixed with 1 cup of water and heat on stove until sugar is dissolved)
2 oz Bacardi Silver rum
Club soda splash
In a 10 or 12 ounce glass add lime, mint and simple syrup. With your muddler in hand, press down with force while using a twisting motion. This releases the essential oils in the mint and lime. Fill with ice, add rum and shake well. Top with club soda.
You can also use a mint infused simple syrup, which really gives a lot more flavor I think. Simply put in a handful of mint into the sugar/water mixture after sugar has disolved, but off the stove. Steep for 30 minutes or so, then take out mint and you have a great flavored syrup that you can use for mojitos and also iced tea etc. Store in frig for up to 3 weeks.
re: jackie de
You can infuse the syrup. Here in Miami we have had many discussions and examples of the "Mojito". But for the freshest and most thirst quenching taste, muddling the "yerba buena" is, by far, the best. As for, "a lot more flavor" I would say subtlety is usually what's missing in modern cocktails.
I agree about still putting in the mint and muddling it in this drink. I do add the mint simple syrup and also the fresh mint. The infused syrup is very subtle (maybe because our midwest grown mint isn't as powerful as Miami mint or perhaps a milder variety). Sure is a great drink on a hot summer day and we all have our own version of the "best".