For those who are unfamiliar with me my name is Mambo, and I’m a Blue and Gold Macaw that resides at The Roving Wino’s house. I’m considered to be somewhat of a party animal, so watch your drinks as I have a tendency to help myself. Being a tropical bird I prefer drinks that are citrusy and refreshing, but my all-time favorite drink is the Mojito. There’s something about the fresh mint and lime that tickles my feathers. Although I’m partial to them made with “Parrot” Bay Rum, I won’t turn down one made with Bacardi. I’m always “flying” around looking for new varieties of Mojitos to sample. So low and behold I flew into a different variation of Mojito and found it at Keyways Winery.
It appears that the key to success is to reinvent something and in this case Keyways Winery did just that with their new concoction calling it the MoKeyto.
The Mojito is a traditional Cuban drink that became a favorite in the 1980’s and has seen a resurgence of popularity lately. Traditionally it is made with five ingredients: fresh mint, rum, simple syrup, lime and carbonated water. The complexity and layers of flavors tend to mask the kick of the rum and the citrus and mint makes it a refreshing summer drink. Too much rum and I have a tendency to fall off my perch.
Keyways Winery serves MoKeytos every Saturday from 1:30pm to 5:30pm. They pour their signature wine Mojito made with Keyways’ own Muscat Canelli, sweet and sour mix, mint and a splash of 7UP. I was pleasantly surprised at how exhilarating this drink was. I had a fabulous server, KC Resewehr, who made sure my glass was always full and allowed me to taste the most fabulous samples of spicy almond toffee. This old bird loves almonds and the chiles perfectly melded with the chocolate. I could hardly keep my beak out of these nutty confections. Here was a Murrieta confectioner with bags of the most delectable toffees you’d ever want to indulge in located right at the main entrance. They were so tantalizing that it necessitated a purchase of more. This was an afternoon well-spent with a MoKeyto at my beak, McCall’s sweet confections handily available and the sweet music of David and David in the background.
The Mojito was originally made in the late 1500’s for medicinal purposes in Havana; the recipe was altered in 1940 by Don Facundo Bacardi Massó (as in Bacardi Rum) to what it is today. So, if you want to make it at home, it’s really easy. The original recipe is as follows:
Fresh mint (lots of it)
Rum (Bacardi or your favorite quality light rum)
Start by making the simple syrup and to do this put equal parts sugar and water into a pot and cook it on high until it dissolves. Make sure to stir the entire time because you don’t want a crunchy mojito. For a less sweet mojito buy traditional guarapo (sugar cane juice) for a more natural flavor.
Make sure you have a good muddler, a sturdy glass and a shaking tin for muddling and mixing the drink. The cocktail’s success depends on the blending of the lime and mint flavors.
Cut the limes into quarters and pick the mint leaves off of the stems. For eight mojitos you will need a
generous bowl of mint and eight limes-one per drink.
Muddle a generous pinch of mint and about three lime wedges in the bottom of a tall mojito glass, cocktail shaker, or a mixing receptacle. If using granulated sugar, also muddle the sugar with the mint and lime to extract the lime’s essential oils. When the ingredients are well pulverized, add ice to fill the glass.
Add 2 Tablespoons of your simple syrup-this is equivalent to 1 oz.
Fill the glass with about 2 ounces of rum-with the ice, the glass should appear about 3/4 of the way full. Shake or stir the mixture until fully blended. Fill the remainder of the pint glass with soda water. Another option is to transfer the shaken cocktail to another glass to serve since the muddled lime and mint often stick in the bottom of the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge, a mint sprig, a sugar cane swizzle stick, or all three.
The name Mojito comes from the African word mojo, which means to place a little spell. As someone who is captivated by both the MoKeyto and the Mojito I suspect that this definition is wholly accurate. So if you’ve lost your Mojo, don’t fret, now you know how to replenish it.
Keyways Winery, 1-877-KEYWAYS. 37338 DePortola Road, Temecula, CA, 92592
McCall’s Confections, 800-396-0332
Photos by Kat Ellis