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Cover: Shaken and stirred

Recipes with lime

27Sep 12

Mojito Jelly Shots

Mojito Jelly ShotsWarning: Mojito Jelly Shots can turn you seriously silly! Note to self and guests: Remember they contain alcohol!

I remember first making Mojito Jelly Shots one evening for a dinner party with close friends. Two of our friends were Cuban, and we often had competitions to see who could prepare the best Mojitos. So the jelly shots were my way of stepping up the game. The after-dinner treat turned, what started as a fairly reserved dinner, into one very funny evening. The combination of the refreshing Mojito cocktail with a chilled jelly is just divine.

As the idea just came to me during the morning, I didn’t prepare with shot glasses or individual serving bowls. I just made the jelly in one large bowl, and we all ate from the bowl with tablespoons! However, I recommend that you serve the jelly in shot glasses or create unique forms with jelly or ice moulds for a more professional look.

If you are preparing the Mojito Jelly Shots for an evening party, then you need to prepare them first thing in the morning. If they are for lunch or afternoon parties, then you should prepare them the night before. There is nothing worse than a runny jelly!

If you enjoy mint-flavoured drinks, then you could also have a go at a delicious Mint Julep.

Mojito Jelly Shots
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
Cuban Jelly Shots. Combine the delicious minty, cool refereshing Mojito with jelly.
  • 10 leaves of gelatine
  • 80cl sparkling water or soda water
  • 10cl white rum – Havana Club Añejo is my preferred choice
  • 9 tbsp brown sugar
  • Bunch of fresh mint – chopped finely
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 2 limes finely sliced
  1. Crush the mint in a cocktail shaker (or with a pestle and mortar).
  2. Add the rum, brown sugar and lime juice and shake thoroughly.
  3. Now add the sparking water and mix thoroughly.
  4. Strain the mixture, grinding the mint into the strainer to ensure that you get as much of the mint flavour as possible.
  5. Dissolve your gelatine leaves as per the instructions.
  6. Add and stir your Mojito mix into the gelatine.
  7. Pour into 5cl shot glasses, small paper cups or jelly or ice moulds. If you are using shot glasses or cups, fill them up ¾ of the way.
  8. Refrigerate for four to five hours until they are set.
  9. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve with a smile.


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17Jul 12

Chilcano, a Peruvian classic with a story

Chilcano, cocktailDuring the last decade, I have visited Peru various times. Lima, the capital, is a fascinating place. There are colourful street markets everywhere you go, and people are always friendly and ready for a drink and/or a chat.

On one of my latest trips, I met a chap by the name of Jaime Pesaque, who happens to own a restaurant in town. After dinner at his place one evening, he offered to mix me a drink he reckoned I had never tried before. The name of the drink was, as I recall, chilcano. At the time it seemed an odd name because it is also the name of a famous dish in Peru. Today, I want to tell you about this drink.

The chilcano is a traditional Peruvian beverage. Its main ingredient is Pisco, which is the country´s national drink. Pisco is a colourless or yellowish-to-amber coloured grape brandy produced in wine-making regions of Peru and Chile. It was developed by Spanish settlers in the 16th century as an alternative to orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain.

The story of the drink dates back to the 1930´s, when Italian immigrants introduced a drink called “Buon Giorno” into the country. The cocktail was made by mixing grappa with ginger ale and a slice of lemon. Once the drink became popular, the locals started adding Pisco into the mix instead of the grappa. Word spread rapidly, and Peruvians finally had an alternative to the traditional pisco sour.

The chilcano is a strangely invigorating drink, and is in this way similar to the hot fish soup with the same name. It has an agile and refreshing taste, a bit like a margarita lemonade. It is a very simple drink to mix, and a great option for a summer evening.


  • 6cl Pisco
  • 12cl ginger ale
  • Half a lime

How it’s made:
1. Fill an 8 ounce tumbler with ice cubes.
2. Pour the pisco over the ice.
3. Squeeze the lime juice into the glass.

Time: 3 minutes
Makes: 1 serving

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01Jun 12

Cuba Libre

Cuba LibreCuba is a beautiful island; I visited this country in 1999 when they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their revolution.

While listening to their leader and then president Fidel Castro on his 9 hour marathon on public television, I realised something: here I was in La Habana, drinking a Cuba Libre (one of the country’s most emblematic beverages), which mixes rum with Coca Cola, a soft drink seen as one of the icons of the United States. This struck me as odd as the USA and Cuba are not the best of friends. Why would one of Cuba’s national drinks use a component from the USA? I decided to investigate further on the history of this drink.

The story of how rum and Coca Cola were mixed dates back to the early 20th century. Sugarcane, which is the main ingredient in the distilling process of rum, was introduced to Cuba by Christopher Columbus on his second trip to the New World, in 1502. Coca Cola was created somewhere around 1880 in the city of Atlanta by a chemist called John Pemberton. It would arrive in Cuba during the prominent period of their most famous poet, José Martí.

Influenced by this great poet and other intellectuals, both Cuba and the United States were fighting for independence. The combination of Coca Cola and rum tried to emphasize the libertarian spirit of both nations, embracing their common goal. The USA and Cuba were united in their desire for independence. From this desire came the name Cuba Libre, “a free Cuba.”

Unlike other rum-based cocktails like this strawberry tang, Cuba Libre tastes strongly of alcohol. The aroma in the glass, once served, is rich and extremely refreshing. It’s a drink that will leave an aftertaste on your palate that you will notice for hours after drinking it, especially if you prepare it with an aged rum (like a 12 year Havana Club).

Years after my trip to Cuba, I still think about the experience of a Cuba Libre on the island, and how the icons from two antagonistic worlds came to mix.


  • 1/2 lime
  • 12cl dark rum
  • 24cl Coca Cola

How to make it:
1. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into a Collins glass.
2. Drop the lime into the glass.
3. Add ice cubes.
4. Pour the rum into the glass.
5. Slowly pour the Coca Cola until the glass is full.
6. Stir well.

Time: 3 minutes
Makes: 1 cocktail

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