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Imagen The Mojito Effect

The Mojito Effect

George Restrepo

In July 2011 one million people searched in Google the word mojito, added to the almost 800.000 users that looked for related words as mojito receta, mojito recipe, cómo hacer un mojito and mojito cubano, among others (1). This makes me realize that the mojito fashion is not finished but just starting. The interest arosed by many Internet users is simply the result of the persistence and impact of the advertising campaigns over the past five years.

I remember a couple of years ago, when entering Barcardi website I found a landing page with a video showing how to prepare a mojito Bacardi, a campaign that had a wide deployment in media as TV and BTL actions (2). The idea: to link the word Mojito to Barcardi brand. The surprise was that the video recipe differed from the widespread and recognized mojito recipe presented by the IBA (International Bartenders Association). In the case of the brand, a dash of soda was added; while IBA’s recipe at that time did not include it. I can use this example to show how the penetration power of the brands can make change even to IBA a classic recipe already accepted internationally.

I also remember during my instructor stage, walking through the inner city of Barcelona, I started to notice how tentative signs appeared in the little neighborhood bars offering mojitos. Little by little, now with the passage of time, it is hard not to find a bar without it and the funniest thing is that those signs now have also words like Caipirinha or Daiquiri on them. That’s how the law of supply and demand works.

The mojito effect does not end here. A couple of years ago, again from the big international companies, a new category appeared in the alcoholic beverages sector: the ready mix, with the tagline “ready mix, ready to drink”. The idea is that the consumer not only finds it in the bars, it is also there to take home. As a result we have the Bacardi Mojito and the Cacique Mojito Moreno. Premixes to serve, add ice and ready to enjoy. I’ve found some more companies that offer this kind of products even in powder like Dailys for the American market, and recently a distillery specialized in Orujo, Panizo that launched the Morujito. As for bars, the ready mojito can be served from a dispenser like a draft beer one, concept used by the multinational Diageo in Spain who aims to invest 5 million Euro in the 6.000 taps implementation (3).

So here is my conclusion and explanation arguing why I’m such a defender of the mojito (or better said, of the use of the word mojito). Mixology is rapidly evolving, so fast that a gap could be opened between consumer and bartender: while the consumer is just entering in the cocktail fashion era, hardly knowing of the existence of three of them (Mojito, Caipirinha and Daiquiri), the bartenders as professionals they are, are exploring molecular mixology proposals, textures, food pairing and other basic concepts. However these concepts could sound very strange to most customers.

I have used the Mojito as a starting point to move some cocktails of the Drink Menu and above all, because I consider that we should give tools to the customers so they can discover new sensations. Beginning from the premise that our customers know and remember what is a mojito, the next step is to propose them a couple of recipes that could be like a mojito or a julep cocktail (fruit, mint, sugar, alcohol, muddling and crushed ice) and name them with the word mojito somewhere. This is the case of the bar Coppelia Club in Barcelona, where we have two recipes: Pomegranate Mojito and Cucumber Mojito. These new creations have given the possibility to our clients to try new things.

We give these recipes a leading or strategic role in our Drink Menu, so we simplify our customers their choice, finding what they like or could like before panic reading a bunch of unknown recipes and decide to take the easy way (classic mojito).

IBA Recipe:
MOJITO (highball glass)
4.0 cl white rum
3.0 cl fresh lime juice
3 springs of mint
2 teaspoons sugar
Soda water

Cocktail POMEGRANATE MOJITO (MOJITO DE GRANADA) by Coctelería Creativa: read the full recipe here.

(1) Data supplied by Google Search, July 14 2011.

(2) BTL Below The Line- non convencional advertising, different from TV, radio and press.

(3) Source: www.alimarket.es

Photography and text: George Restrepo
Article published in July 2011

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