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The BarBack Guy's Beach Cocktail Series: "Cara-Cara Orange-Mojito" - And The Story Of The Classic Mint Mojito

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The 2017 winter holidays have come and gone and people in every corner of the northern states are beginning their "new year's resolutions" of diet and exercise. Many are in great anticipation of upcoming spring break vacations where they can flaunt their new beach bods and sip on some refreshing, light cocktails while lounging poolside or comfortably in the sand.

If you are not sure which cocktail to embrace as your "go-to" at the cabana or beach bar, I suggest a classic Mint Mojito. Better yet, make your own luxurious variations at home if you want to feel like you're sitting at a ritzy resort patio bar.

This week, I will provide a few Mojito recipe options to consider! Keep reading to learn more..


 The Cara-Cara Mojito                                                                                        Photo: B.B. Guyman

The Cara-Cara Orange, which is also known as a Red Navel, is a key ingredient used in this week's original Mojito variation. 
This medium sized navel is sweet and low in acid. The flavor is more complex than most navel varieties and has been described as evoking notes of cherry, rose petal, orange, and blackberry. 

The Cara cara navel, or red-fleshed navel orange is an early-to-midseason navel orange believed to have developed as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel.

Discovered at the Hacienda La Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela in 1976, the parentage is apparently uncertain enough to occasionally warrant the distinction of a mutation, with only the tree on which it was found—the Washington navel—being an accepted progenitor. Cara caras did not enter the U.S consumer produce market until the late 1980s and were carried only by specialty markets for many years thereafter.

The Classic Mint Mojito                                                                                                      Photo: Mixologik


The Mojito has become a legend among modern cocktail trends and is arguably the most refreshing cocktail on the planet. A traditional Cuban highball, a classic Mojito consists of five ingredients: 4 parts white rum, 1 bar spoon of sugar or simple syrup (traditionally sugar cane juice), 3 parts lime juice, 6 parts sparkling water (soda water, club soda) and is garnished with fresh limes and mint leaves. The classic Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, which is a mint variety very popular on the island. Its combination of sweetness, citrus, and mint flavors is intended to complement the rum, and has made the mojito a popular summertime drink.

When preparing a mojito, lime juice is added to sugar (or syrup) and mint leaves and the mixture is then gently mashed with a muddler. The mint leaves should only be bruised to release the essential oils and should not be shredded. Then rum is added and the mixture is briefly stirred to dissolve the sugar and to lift the mint leaves up from the bottom for better presentation. Finally, the drink is topped with crushed ice and sparkling soda water. Mint leaves and lime wedges are used to garnish the glass.

The Mojito is one of the most famous rum-based highballs and has several variations. A survey by an international market research company found that in 2016 the Mojito was the most popular cocktail in Britain and France.

A Bit Of History:

Havana, Cuba, is the birthplace of the Mojito, although the exact origin of this classic cocktail is the subject of debate. One story traces the Mojito to a similar 16th century drink known as "El Draque", after Sir Francis Drake. In 1586, after his successful raid at Cartagena de Indias Drake's ships sailed towards Havana but there was an epidemic of dysentery and scurvy on board. It was known that the local South American Indians had remedies for various tropical illnesses, so a small boarding party went ashore on Cuba and came back with ingredients for an effective medicine. The ingredients were aguardiente de caña (translated as burning water, a crude form of rum made from sugar cane) mixed with local tropical ingredients: lime, sugarcane juice, and mint. Lime juice on its own would have significantly prevented scurvy and dysentery, and tafia/rum was soon added as it became widely available to the British (ca. 1650). Mint, lime and sugar were also helpful in hiding the harsh taste of this spirit. While this drink was not called a Mojito at this time, it was the original combination of these ingredients.

Some historians contend that African slaves who worked in the Cuban sugar cane fields during the 19th century were instrumental in the cocktail's origin. Guarapo, the sugar cane juice often used in Mojitos, was a popular drink among the slaves who named it. It never originally contained lime juice.

There are several theories behind the origin of the name Mojito: one such theory holds that name relates to mojo, a Cuban seasoning made from lime and used to flavour dishes. Another theory is that the name Mojito is simply a derivative of mojadito (Spanish for "a little wet"), the diminutive of mojado ("wet"). Due to the vast influence of immigration from the Canary Islands, the term probably came from the mojo creole marinades adapted in Cuba using citrus (as opposed to traditional Isleno types).

The Mojito has routinely been presented as a favorite drink of author Ernest Hemingway. It has also often been said that Ernest Hemingway made the bar called La Bodeguita del Medio famous when he became one of its regulars and wrote "My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita" on a wall of the bar. This epigraph, handwritten and signed in his name, persists despite doubts expressed by Hemingway biographers about such patronage and the author's taste for mojitos. La Bodeguita del Medio is better known for its food than its drink.

Variations:

Many hotels in Havana also add Angostura bitters to cut the sweetness of the Mojito; while icing sugar is often muddled with the mint leaves rather than cane sugar, and many establishments simply use sugar syrup to control sweetness. Many bars today in Havana use lemon juice rather than fresh lime. The "Rose Mojito," which is a Mojito variation containing the rose-flavored spirit, Lanique, was first created at the Albert's Schloss bar in Manchester, England. A Mojito without alcohol is called a "Virgin Mojito" or "Nojito". The Cojito adds coconut flavor, often through the use of coconut-flavored rum. The South Side is made with gin instead of rum; the South Side Fizz adds seltzer water.



This Week's Cocktail Recipe...


As per usual with our BarBack Tool Company recipes, you will find that our signature Mojito variation, The "Cara-Cara-Mojito", is a potent, balanced, high quality cocktail complete with fresh juice squeezes and fresh, perfectly prepared garnishes throughout.






Here at the O.B.B. Company, we believe that those who are not embracing The BarBack for its seemingly endless common sense uses are missing an opportunity to become pioneers of their future industry or social circle.


Well, here is our recipe: The "Cara-Cara-Mojito".
As always, pour and garnish responsibly... and have fun.

For this recipe, please gather the following items:

  • An O-Rig BarBack Tool
  • Fresh Cara-Cara Oranges (aka Red Navel Oranges)
  • Fresh limes
  • Finely ground sugar crystals
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Sparkling water
  • Your favorite rum. For this one, we suggest Afrohead premium dark aged rum for it's smooth characteristic and bold flavor.
  • One medium cocktail glass



The BarBack Guy's "Cara-Cara Orange-Mojito" recipe:

*This cocktail is built in a medium sized, 12 ounce cocktail glass.

1. Squeeze one ounce each of fresh lime juice and fresh red navel (Cara-Cara) orange juice into cocktail glass

2. Add 1 bar spoon of fine sugar crystals and stir until dissolved

3. Add about 5 or 6 mint leaves to mixture. Using a muddler, gingerly press the leaves 5 times into the bottom of glass with juice/sugar mix

4. Add 2 ounces of rum, fill glass halfway with ice, and stir with bar spoon. 

5. Using your BarBack Tool's garnish knife, slice one Cara-Cara orange wheel and place decoratively in glass

6. Lastly, add a few more cubes of ice and fill with sparkling water. The finished pour level should be a straw width's distance from the rim of glass. Place one or two more mint leaves on top for final aromatic essence and visually appealing garnish.

7. Enjoy!

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Did you know?

Stay tuned to OriginalBarBack.com for new recipes, stories, legends, history, "bar-lore" and more in our weekly blogs. Check out our Instagram page , YouTube channel and Facebook page for weekly posts, videos and our images of craft cocktails, beers, wines and spirits.

The BarBack Tool is the first of it's kind and the finest food & beverage multi tool out there. It was created with convenience in mind for anyone who prepares food or cocktails, and drinks any bottled beverages.

See for yourself at The BarBack's Official Website!


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