It’s very unusual for me to drink enough to reach a level of intoxication. I don’t see much use in getting smashed, and barely ever go further than a simple buzz. My wife of 10 years says that she’s seen me drunk only once – a night of excess involving most of a bottle of Ron Zacapa Centenario. I love the taste of a good rum, or a good cocktail, but believe in moderation.
There are times when I like to tie one on. Sure, I’ll drink a few Mai Tais now and again – when someone else is making them – but generally if I feel like getting buzzed I’m lazy. I’ll have a few shots of the good stuff while my taste buds still function, but once my brain gets rattled I’ll switch to something easy, like Rum & Ginger Ale. Occasionally, very occasionally, I’ll go so far as to make a quart of some cocktail and nurse it, like a baby. A hungry, angry baby.
One day in a liquor store I grabbed a bottle of Stirrings Mojito Mixer, caught up in the propaganda of the display which spoke of quality. Bottled mixers generally taste like crap – because they’re full of crap. Here’s the list of ingredients from one unnamed bottled cocktail mix:
Water, corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, cellulose gum, polysorbate 60, gum arabic, glycerol, abietate and FD&C Yellow No. 5
Here’s the list of ingredients from the Stirrings Mojito Mixer:
Triple-filtered water, cane sugar, key lime juice from concentrate (water, key lime concentrate), citric acid, natural mint and lime flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
That’s a hell of a lot closer to the real thing.
Given that I like to try all rums neat, I felt it was appropriate to do the same with the Mojito Mixer. I found the taste to be extremely natural, without those obnoxious tastes found in most pre-made mixers. It was sweet, like a good simple syrup though much lighter, with a lot of key lime taste and a hint of mint. It was obviously high quality stuff, and very good. I have to say that I wasn’t so pleased with the key lime taste – I guess I like “regular” limes much more. But I deemed it Worthy, and grabbed a bottle of rum and a jigger.
Call me a sinner, but I grabbed the Havana Club Añejo Blanco for my first Stirrings Mojito. What better way to try it, with a known high-quality rum like this, one almost made for Mojitos? OK, enough rationalization – I’m a sinner.
I mixed it up according to the directions, and sipped. It was quite good – hardly a real Mojito made up fresh, but it was tasty and easily drinkable. Granted, it was a hot summer day, so a Mojito was perfect. The Stirrings Mojito wasn’t perfect, but it was quite good.
A little later, when it was time to catch a buzz, I made up a quart of Mojito using Ron Matusalem Platino. It too was excellent – for a while. By the time I reached the bottom of the mug I had had more than enough of the key lime taste. It was a bit much.
The Stirrings Mojito Mixer is very high quality, and pretty darned good and tasty. It won’t beat a real Mojito made with fresh limes and yerba buena, but it’s good enough for those lazy times. Recommended – but 2 minutes making a real one is even more recommended.
Call me a sinner. I’m guilty.