How to make the perfect mojito

Who’s thirsty?

What’s the perfect summer cocktail? For me, it’s gotta be super light and refreshing. Can’t be too boozy, or we all know I’ll fall off my chair. Can’t be too complicated or you’ll regret investing in all this product that takes up your entire liquor cabinet. So when I got reintroduced to a mojito at Ricardo’s Hideaway, I knew I had found my summer go-to.

tiki bar calgary canada

Tucked away beside NTNL 17, this joint has fan-flipping-tabulous cocktails and nibbles.

Ricardo’s is this sweet little cocktail club on the corner of 17 Ave and 5th Street in Calgary. I’d never been, but I sampled their jerk chicken at some random media event and I was immediately smitten. A couple days ago I went back, and instantly fell in love.

Blonde at tiki bar

It’s usually much busier, but bossy Jody cleared them out.

The space is small, but totally bijoux, rocking a tropical Trader Vic’s vibe. Think: Earnest Hemingway during his Cuba years. The walls are doused in hot turquoise, bar stools are electric blue and the bathrooms are, well, see for yourself.

men hanging out in designer bathroom

Boys are bananas! Am I right, or am I right?

woman applying lipstick in bathroom mirror

Meet News Bob, a TV wheel, who despite looking the contrary, is not at all creepy. Love ya, Bobby!

How to Make the Perfect Mojito

Back, to the mojito, I adore it as a summer libation. It strikes that perfect balance between sweet (the sugar) tart (the lime) and herbaceous (all that mint). Rumour has it, back in the 16th Century the mojito was known as “El Draque”, after Sir Francis Drake. He plundered Cuba for gold in 1586, and had (surprise, surprise) a bunch of sailors with scurvy on board. Some mates went ashore to find a remedy and came back with lime, mint and sugarcane juice. I’m guessing they had plenty of rum aboard already. 

Ricardo’s has a wall of mint, which I grabbed fistfuls from, but you only need about 8 sprigs. What’s brilliant about the mojito is you only need a few ingredients to make this medicinal cocktail.

  • 2 oz Havana Club Rum (or any white rum)
  • 3/4 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • Soda Water
how to make a mojito

The mise en place is so simple, yet elegant, don’t you think?

Classic Mojito Recipe

Gently muddle the mint leaves with simple syrup and lime juice a collins glass. That’s a tall glass, by the way. You muddle to gently express the oils out of the mint, not pound the crap out of it. Add the rum and load your glass halfway up with crushed ice. Stir, then add more ice. Top up with soda water.

woman at tiki bar

I guess it’s pretty obvious I like hanging anywhere with a bright design scheme.

Party like it’s 1985

And what’s this about Duran Duran, I hear you asking? Well, the Fab Five are playing at RoundUp Music Fest on July 11, 2017. RoundUp used to be held the Wednesday of Stampede at Fort Calgary, but this year it’s on the Tuesday, and the venue has switched to Shaw Millennium Park – which, obviously, is a much better location for me. Thanks, guys! Opening acts are Walk Off The Earth and Capital Cities.

Duran Duran 80s

Hands off the powder blue air force jumper, ladies!

I’ve got two tickets to giveaway and I’ll do a “random” draw by noon on Monday, July 10, 2017. Please comment below with your favourite band member and why. I hate putting things in quotes, but I felt I had to highlight the “random” aspect of this draw. You see, even after all these years, Nick is still mine. Duranies who site him as their fave, will unfortunately be at a disadvantage. Far better to let me know your favourite summer cocktail instead. Tweet out this post or share it on Facebook and you’ll receive another entry (tag me, so I can record).

Thanks RoundUp Music Fest for bringing in such fantastic acts for Stampede, and thank you for offering one lucky Travels with Baggage reader a chance to party like it’s the 80s all over again.