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Mojito (Rum Spritzer)

3 sprigs yerbabuena or mint (10 to 12 leaves), plus 1 large sprig for garnish (use true spearmint)
1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1/2 large lime)
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) white rum
1 cup ice
Approximately 1 cup soda water

Strip the leaves off three of the yerbabuena or mint sprigs, and place them at the bottom of a large highball glass. Add the sugar and lime juice. Gently pound these ingredients with the end of a wooden spoon: the idea is to bruise the leaves to release the aromatic oils.

Stir in the rum, followed by the ice cubes. Add enough club soda to fill the glass. Stir the mojito with a long-handled spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Garnish the glass with the remaining sprig and serve at once.

-- Steven Raichlen

Thursday, September 28, 2000

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