|Sorry, on a dark patio…I did my best.|
The first one I was served, was in fact, dismal. There was too much lime and sugar, and I only counted 3 mint leaves. I wish I'd taken a pic of that one to compare with one above, which Joe mixed for me himself. Joe did a wonderful job with the drink. So much so, that every time I needed another one I sought him out, turned on the pathetic "puppy dog" eyes and asked, "Please sir, some more?"
The Mojito is a rather complex drink considering the few ingredients that are required. Balancing those ingredients properly when crafting the drink is the key. Of the 5 cocktails I sampled last night (I won't count the first one) I would say 4 out of 5 were almost perfect. Yes, I had 6 Mojitos last night, not counting the 2 I had at home before I left. Don't Judge! I needed to have some of mine so I would know where I was starting from in the critique process.
So, how do they stack up to mine? Close! There are a few differences. I use 3 types of mint, they use only one. I use fresh limes, with just a splash of lime juice. They created a lime juice syrup to make prep easier (I don't fault them for that, I do it too in party situations). The only problem with that method is that it can lead to a Mojito that is overly sweet. I believe they used rail Rum, which I also don't fault them for. Next time I will ask for Bacardi instead. It'll probably cost me a buck, a buck I am more than willing to pay. At first, I though I would be disappointed that they weren't using crush iced. However, the square cubes they use worked nicely. Joe also muddled the mint and lime prior to adding the ice which resulted in a lot less "Mint Up The Straw" while drinking. I've always muddled with crushed ice because I felt it released more of the mint into the drink, but am then always picking small pieces of mint out of my mouth. I am going to try his method next time and see how it works out in mine. The huge difference was lack of fresh limes in the drink. I think I will ask for those next time as well. Lime juice is fine, but fresh is best.
All in all, I was very pleased with their effort, especially Joe's. He went to great lengths to ensure I had a great Mojito experience at The Lodge. It sure beats the bars like Ruby Tuesday's and TGI Friday's that use a mix. I have yet to find a mix that comes even close to the fresh hand-crafted drink.
Thanks guys! I know where I'll be hanging out this summer with a Mojito in my hand. The Lodge patio!