I recently noted that rum drinks, notably the Daiquiri, were sneaking into my cocktail repertoire. I was reminded of a visit to San Diego, and to the Babcock and Story bar at the Hotel del Coronado. It was August, a fine, hot, sunny afternoon, with the sea breeze blowing along their great long stretch of hundred-year-old mahogany bartop.  “What have you that’s tall and cool?” asked my bride. “You’ll like our Mojito,” answered the barman, and and went straight to work with his muddler.

In short order there stood before us, tall and cool as promised, our minty, rummy Mojito. Except for one thing—my bride swears that the drink contained no soda. If it was there, it was a vanishingly small amount, passing unnoticed beneath the ice and mint. As it turns out, absent or unnoticed, the missing soda was not a bad thing—she loved the drink. But it did pose a conundrum, this phantom soda, since a Mojito without soda is unprecedented in my experience. As near as I can tell, without soda there is no Mojito; that would be a minted Daiquiri.

Mojito del Coronado cocktail, photo © 2010 Douglas M. Ford. All rights reserved.
The Mojito del Coronado

Now, whether this was a Mojito or a Daiquiri is strictly a side issue, because whatever we choose to call it, the drink was destined to become a hot-weather favorite at our house. We went straight to work duplicating the cocktail, and we finally decided that 10 Cane rum and demerara syrup made the flavors come together. We could have called it the Daiquiri del Coronado, I suppose, but we took our lead from the original order to commemmorate our visit to the shore on that hot vacation day. Thus we have the soda-less Mojito del Coronado:

Mojito del Coronado

  • 2 oz. 10 Cane rum
  • ½ oz. demerara sugar syrup
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • sprigs of mint for muddle and garnish

Muddle mint lightly in chilled rocks glass, add ice cubes. Shake liquid ingredients in mixing glass with cracked ice, strain over mint and cubes. Garnish with mint.

The 10 Cane is a very light-flavored rum, which is part of the attraction of this warm-weather, beachy drink—and of Mojitos in general.

The trick, as with all sours, is to balance the sugar and citrus. The measures listed here are guidelines. Limes are notoriously variable, and you’ll want to adjust to your tastes.

(And, in case you wonder, this does taste great topped up with soda, like a proper Mojito.)