While bars are still closed, at-home cocktail making and virtual happy hours have become the new normal during quarantine. Day-drinking is officially acceptable, and if you are lucky enough to be working from home and have a few dusty bottles tucked away in your liquor cabinet, there is nothing stopping you from shaking up that midday mojito between Zoom calls. With more time to experiment and practise at home, now is the time to properly learn a set of essential, easy-to-make cocktails that you can shake up in seconds, whether you are entertaining guests or drinking solo.
To help you up your mixology game, we are reinstating our 1 Bottle, 3 Ways series—this time with the help of Agustín Da Sambiagio, who heads up the bar programme at Taqueria Super Macho. We have previously shared essential cocktail recipes for gin and vodka, and this week it is all about rum. Whether you prefer a citrusy mojito or a classic rum and coke, these timeless tipples are easy to master at home with just a handful of ingredients on hand.
An omnipresent, warm-weather staple, there is nothing that quenches the thirst quite like a simple, well-made mojito; yet ubiquitous as it is, there is still a learned technique to shaking up this crowd-pleasing cocktail. From muddling the lime to gently extracting oils from the herbs, Agustin shares his step-by-step to perfecting the minty mojito.
• 6-8 mint leaves (depending on size)
• 4 lime wedges
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 60ml rum
• Soda water
In a highball glass, add the mint leaves, lime wedges and sugar, and muddle until the sugar is melted. Using a bar spoon, gently press the mint against the walls of the glass to release the flavour, but avoid pressing too hard, otherwise it will be bitter. Fill the glass with crushed ice, add rum and mix well. Add more crushed ice, top up with soda water, and garnish with a few mint sprigs on the top.
Known colloquially as a rum and coke, the Cuba Libre is a familiar mixed drink that may take you straight back to your college days. We have all been there with one too many rum and cokes, but mixed well—and critically, with the addition of fresh lime juice—the Cuba Libre can be a drink that you sip and savour with sophistication. Make sure you use fresh versus bottled lime juice to cut through the sweetness of the cola (usually Coca-Cola). Mix yourself a glass and be transported to warm, barefoot nights in Havana.
• 60ml rum
• 120ml Coca-Cola
• Lime wedge
In a highball glass filled with ice, pour in the rum and top off with cola. Squeeze a lime wedge on top, drop it inside and serve!
Sweet and feminine, but not overly girly—the Mary Pickford embodies the traits of its namesake, a pioneer of early cinema and darling of the silent screen at the turn of the 20th century. The Prohibition Era cocktail is essentially a rum martini, featuring equal parts rum and pineapple juice splashed with grenadine for its signature pale pink hue. Fruity and lightly sweet with a tart pop, this Oscar-worthy tropical libation is primed for summer sipping.
• 60ml rum
• 60ml pineapple juice
• 1 tablespoon grenadine
• 1 tablespoon maraschino liqueur (or other cherry liquor)
• Slice of pineapple for garnish
Add rum, pineapple juice, grenadine and maraschino liqueur to a shaker. Fill with ice and shake until very cold, then double strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a piece of pineapple on the rim for fabulous sipping.