After a great day’s hiking, cycling or canoeing, nothing goes down quite as well as your favourite tipple by a campfire. Here’s how to create your own happy hour (or two) in the wilderness
As fresh as a Scottish breeze, although it’s actually Cuban.
• 50ml white rum
• 8-10 mint leaves,
• 12½ml sugar syrup
• 25ml lime juice
• 2 mint sprigs
Add the white rum to a tall glass. Add the mint leaves, sugar syrup and lime juice. Muddle with bar spoon. Add crushed ice (see below) and a splash of soda. Mix drink down with bar spoon. Taste. Top up with more crushed ice. Slap two mint sprigs to release their essence and put into drink. Add a straw and enjoy.
Cuba is where the mojito cocktail calls home, helped of course by that most respected of inebriates Hemingway, who is said to have developed a taste during a visit to the bar La Bodeguita del Medio in Cuba.
Despite its ubiquitous nature, the mojito is a tricky scoundrel to make well.
Grab your flask, a stainless steel one like the Klean Kanteen is best. First up you’ll be needing to muddle the mint, but treat it too roughly and it’ll get its own back by releasing a torrent of bitter flavours into your drink. The trick is to use plenty of leaves (8-10), clap between your hands (they like being praised) and then barely tickle them with a spoon in the base of your flask. Next up is the lime, about ¾ of a shot depending on how sour they happen to be on the day. Many recipes call for sugar, but unless you have the patience of a saint to ensure it is properly dissolved before drinking, it’s best to stick with sugar syrup – about half a shot’s worth. It’s the balance of mint, lime and sugar that is key to the success of this drink and it’s worth a bit of practice. A double shot of white rum comes next, preferably something with some flavour. Havana Club is widely available and a solid choice, but my personal favourite is Bacardi. Crushed ice (if you can get hold of some) comes next; if you only have lumpy ice then it’s time to get a cloth out to wrap it up and whack it with something heavy, like the heel of your (clean!) boot. Pop a load in the flask, churn it up a bit, add some more and a splash of soda (not too much) and stir some more. Hey presto, you have a drink that took longer to make than it will to drink. Slurp!