Mojitos with Havana Club and Hoxton Hotel

We got to spend an evening making mojitos in the lovely surrounding of The Apartment in The Hoxton Holborn thanks to Who’s Jack and Havana Club. It really feels like you’re in a friend’s beautiful flat, I just wished there was an actual bed in there as I sure could have used one after all the mojitos!

Whilst we waited for the masterclass to start, we chatted over Montepulciano, Negronis and Sidecars cocktails to calm our frayed nerves after travelling and walking in the rain.

First up the masterclass, where we got taught the essentials of what makes a good mojito. We went with the lovely Amy from Feeding Franklin and her husband Ian who said that he uses the mojito as the benchmark of a bar. If they screw up the classics it’s unlikely they’ll get anything more complicated right and I completely agree!

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of white sugar in the juice of half a lime. Catriona, representing Havana Club, explained that it’s actually better to use regular white sugar rather than brown, which has been thought of as more traditional, as it dissolves quicker in the lime. No one wants gritty bits in their drink! Then bruise your mint leaves gently, those bartenders who muddle them till they go black are actually releasing all the bitter oils. Muddle with cubed ice, never crushed as it melts too quick and you’ll end up with a watery mojito. Next the crucial ingredient 50 ml of 3 year aged Havana club rum. Catriona said some inferior rum brands add molasses to make their rum seemed aged when it hasn’t really been. If you rub some on your hands it shouldn’t leave a sticky residue and Havana Club definitely doesn’t! Finally add some soda water, fill the ice to the top and place a sprig of mint right next to your straw.

Lots of what we think of as taste is actually smell, so inhaling the minty fragrance will enhance your delicious mojito every time you take a sip. Now drink and enjoy, you’ve earned it!

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Thank you to Who’s Jack and the friendly Catriona, from M&C Saatchi – Sport and Entertainment , for the invites – we all had a fab time, and see you again soon!

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About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
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