Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mojito farts

Bear with me a moment while I go on an American expat in France /bartender rant of personal proportions.

I want to choke every single fucking French person that orders a mojito. What in the name of sweet baby Jesus happened in the history of French culture that has caused this mental sink hole of society?

Did you do this Hemingway?!
Free beer to anyone who can give me a verifiable answer!

Some say it was Hemingway.

Others blame the Mojito Mania on a rivalry between Bacardi and Havana Club.

All I know is that it doesn't matter what the weather is, where they are or what they are doing. Age, gender or class has no effect. French of all types will walk into a shitty pub or a high end cocktail bar and, usually as a knee jerk reaction to not knowing what they want, will order a mojito.

For those of you who might not know a mojito is a lovely cocktail with a complicated history which is often much disputed but world over one of a bartender's most hated drinks to make. The general basics of the drink are sugar and lime, muddled mint, rum, ice and soda water. The techniques, proportions and quality of each of these items can vary but ... and here is where the French go all whacky nut sauce on me, IN FRANCE there are a few things that MUST happen.

And they are deplorable :

1. Roughly cut some unwashed limes. Any level of freshness will do but about three chunks is good. The amount of lime from the fruit isn't as important as having something to abuse your mint against.

2. Place limes in glassware of any medium to large size.

3. Pour in sugar syrup from this bottle (see photo left). It is always this bottle. Nothing else.

4. Abuse the mint like it cheated on you with your best friend. I mean, smash the shit outta the stuff. Quality of the mint doesn't matter nor does what part of the plant you use. Stems, sticks and stink are all allowable because, as we've discussed, you're going to beat it to a pulp. In fact! There isn't always a need to even really muddle the mint so much as throw a hand full of it in and puree it while you chat with your bar friends. Likewise if you just want to whirl it around with the same knife you used cut the limes, that is acceptable but French generally always prefer to abuse.

5. After the mint has been officially put in it's proper place, time to add alcohol! 1 oz of agricole rhum is in order. Attention! This is rhum not rum and is distilled from sugar cane not molasses so the smell might knock you around a bit, but more likely than not, the sensory numb orderer will demand that there is no alcohol in the drink. Ignore them, French style.

6. Here comes my least favorite of all the steps and yet, it is one of the most important this style of mojito- crushed ice. NO OTHER ICE WILL DO. People will complain. Mojitos are served with crushed ice! So pull out your hand cranked crusher or mash the cubes in a shaker tin but never skip this (completely useless) step!

7. Pour in fizzy stuffs. Preferably Perrier or Limonade (7up/Sprite) but just whatever is on hand - fuck it.

8. Straw. The straw is so that the customer may immediately poke, jab, swirl and otherwise continue to abuse the mint.

Poking the mojito is also a very important part of what the French enjoy about this particular drink. You can stand by a bar with mojito in one hand, straw in the other and shriek about politics while cramming your plastic stick into a heap of mistreated mint and foul limes. Ice shards have long since melted, rhum has entered the blood stream and now is the time when, even though the glass is empty the lowly bartender may NOT remove the glass. Trying to take away a dead mojito from one of these people is like prying your keys from the fingers of a teething baby. It ain't guna happen without a lot of whining and possible damage to your hands. It will always incur a fierce glare, and quick snatch of the glass, followed by a "uh... c'est pas fini!!" They will use that, oh so essential straw to poke and suck at the desecrated mass at the bottom of the glass before consenting to have it removed for cleaning.

Mint some how makes general population think that they are getting something "fresh." As we have covered today, there usually isn't much fresh about French mojitos. Stop ordering them. Stop making them. Not all bars SHOULD have the ingredients to make a mojito. Put away the ice crusher, order both lemons AND limes, tell your customers that it's fucking raining outside so, unless you are running a place like Dirty Dick, don't order tropical drinks!

I'm done now... Thanks for letting me get that out. 


Back to the beer :

Tasting Paris Craft Beer - La Levallois by Brasseurs du Grand Paris

Yeah, that's right, Paris brewers make sessionably great beers! Mild, floral hoppy and delicately hoppy sweet Brasseurs du Grand Paris has been making their La Levalloise pale ale since before I set foot in the Paris craft beer scene, and with their new Outland collaboration, they continue to be a staple of the local beer scene.

Come with me once more into the cave of biere as we do things you can't do at home, bwahahaa. Unless you live in Paris, that is :

Brasseurs du Grand Paris

La Levalloise

Dig into this Beer Geek meet that I had with Fabrice from Brasseurs du Grand Paris and Will from Bierevolution when I was first living in Paris.

Then check out what I had to say about Brasseurs du Grand Paris (formally My Beer Company) and their Citra-galactic beer when I was living in the remote and far, far away French city of Orleans, boy was I excited to get ahold of something other than a Trappist beer!

Thumbs up for hoppy local beers and cave oriented beer reviews!!