Drink of the Week: Strawberry Mojito at Habana Restaurant

Nom. That's pretty much the best way to describe today's Drink of the Week. But for the sake of coherency, I'm going to elaborate further. If you know Costa Mesa's Habana Restaurant, you know its Mojitos. They're the most popular drink on the menu; listed in original mint, aged-rum, blackberry, and raspberry varieties. What doesn't come on the menu is my personal favorite: the Strawberry Mojito.

This drink is made up of muddled mint leaves and fresh strawberries, simple syrup, sparkling water, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and white Cruzan rum. Standard enough, but the quality and proportion of the Strawberry Mojito's ingredients are where the magic happens. Because the strawberries are not frozen for the sake of preservation, the fruit retains its original consistency and sweetness. This means the bar tender can go easier of the simple syrup, enhancing the cocktail's natural fruit flavor. Habana's recipe also uses a generous amount of fine, aged Caribbean rum which gives the drink a nice strong kick without the nasty aftertaste of cheaper, chemically-aged liquors.

I was introduced to this drink a couple years back when I asked a bartender to surprise me. Being a regular patron, I had tried pretty much everything on the menu and decided to leave the fate of my next ten bucks in the hands of the man on duty. He didn't disappoint. Sitting at that bar again, years after my last visit, I crossed my fingers and ordered the same thing, hoping the woman behind the bar wouldn't give me the stink eye. Not only did she know exactly what I was talking about, but the drink tasted just as good as I remembered! Give it a go and delight in the fact that you'll not only be getting a quality drink, but a dose of genuine vitamin C in the process.

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