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What Happens When A Mojito Grows Up?

Everyone loves the bright fresh flavours of an easy-drinking mojito. Its minty, fizzy, citrusy and slightly rummy. But what happens when you swap out the soda water for champagne and instead of basic white rum, you use a delicious, complex aged Aussie craft gold rum?

Of course there’s nothing wrong with a mojito. It’s the perfect antidote to a hot day when all you want to do is chill out and dream of Caribbean beaches.

But if you want to add a bit of edge to your rum cocktail and are looking for something similar but entirely more sophisticated, you need an Old Cuban in your life. And I’m not talking Castro.

The Old Cuban is a bit of a misnomer. Neither old nor Cuban, this superb drink in fact originates from the States and only came into being in 2001.

But using an aged rum and taking inspiration from Cuba’s national cocktail the mojito, the drink’s name makes a bit more sense.

How To Make An Old Cuban Cocktail

- 2 sprigs of mint

- 20ml simple syrup (dissolve equal parts caster sugar and water)

- 30ml fresh lime juice

- 60ml Mt Uncle Distillery’s Iridium Rum

- 2 dashes Angostura bitters

- Chilled Aussie sparkling wine to top up

1. Shake all the ingredients (apart from the sparkling wine) with lots of ice for 30 seconds and until the sides of the shaker are frosted.

2. Strain* into a straight-sided coupe glass (or something similar) and top up with a splash of sparkling wine. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

*You might want to double strain this cocktail to get rid of all the pulp from the lime and fragments of mint or it'll all be brought to the top by the bubbly.

The Old Cuban rum cocktail is still as refreshing and as full of bright citrus and mint flavours as a mojito, but the aged rum here adds a lovely depth and the bitters brings an aromatic spice that’s missing from this drink’s paler companion.

Also, using sparkling wine instead of soda water elevates the ABV a bit and adds an extra level of flavour (not to mention luxury!) to the whole thing.

Mount Uncle Distillery in Far North Queensland makes incredible rum—I love distiller/owner Mark Watkins’ Iridium gold rum. You can find our review on the Iridium here.

Another rum we’ve reviewed is the superb 23rd Street Distillery’s Signature Rum, which you can read about here.

But there are plenty of other incredible Aussie craft rums that would work so well in this cocktail. You can find Nip of Courage’s full list of Aussie rums here.


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