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Equal parts sun and shade

Liz Miela crafts Encore's Champagne Lemongrass Mojito

Encore’s Champagne Lemongrass Mojito
Encore’s Champagne Lemongrass Mojito
Place

Encore Champagne Bar

531 F Street, San Diego

Mixers and historians of the dram are both debating: does the Mojito derive its name from the spiced Cuban citrus seasoning known in those parts as mojo, or from the Spanish word mojadito (“a little wet”)? Whether the name is homegrown or imported, this Cuban cousin to the caipirinha, a literal mash-up of lime, rum, and mint, has become standard procedure for those intent on maximizing summer — or even Indian summer — with equal parts sun and shade.

Improvising with its 100-bottle-strong champagne list, Encore offers a Frank (that is, French) reappraisal of the classic mojito for sunbathers of all shades with the Champagne Lemongrass Mojito.

“We were playing with some classic cocktails behind the bar and came up with this variation on the mojito,” says Encore’s assistant manager Liz Mieli. “Besides the brut, we added some lemongrass to make the drink fresh and crisp. We wanted to keep the mojito’s effervescence, but we also wanted to give it an extra punch and additional flavor.”

Replacing the usual soda water with high-end bubbly, Mieli says, provides the drink with a supercharged platform from which to launch the mojito’s traditional flavors.

Sponsored
Sponsored

“The Piper-Heidsieck gives the drink a little added taste which enhances the other flavors more than it adds its own flavor,” she says. “At the same time, the brut keeps the drink crisp, clean, and refreshing by bringing out the taste of the lemongrass, lime, and mint.”

The lemongrass innovation, Mieli says, provides some aromatic earthiness to the drink it wouldn’t otherwise have.

“The lemongrass makes the drink more rounded,” she says. “Mojitos can be very sweet, but in our version, the acidity of the limes and the savor of lemongrass — we don’t use an overwhelming amount of simple syrup — tone down the sweetness as well.”


HOW TO MAKE IT

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 oz. rum
  • 3 fresh lime wedges
  • 5 leaves fresh mint
  • 3 pieces lemongrass
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 2–3 oz. Piper-Heidsieck Brut

Squeeze lime wedges into shaker tin with simple syrup, add mint leaves and lemongrass (after slapping strands against cutting board to release flavors), muddle, add ice and rum, shake vigorously, pour all contents into Collins glass, top with brut.

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Encore’s Champagne Lemongrass Mojito
Encore’s Champagne Lemongrass Mojito
Place

Encore Champagne Bar

531 F Street, San Diego

Mixers and historians of the dram are both debating: does the Mojito derive its name from the spiced Cuban citrus seasoning known in those parts as mojo, or from the Spanish word mojadito (“a little wet”)? Whether the name is homegrown or imported, this Cuban cousin to the caipirinha, a literal mash-up of lime, rum, and mint, has become standard procedure for those intent on maximizing summer — or even Indian summer — with equal parts sun and shade.

Improvising with its 100-bottle-strong champagne list, Encore offers a Frank (that is, French) reappraisal of the classic mojito for sunbathers of all shades with the Champagne Lemongrass Mojito.

“We were playing with some classic cocktails behind the bar and came up with this variation on the mojito,” says Encore’s assistant manager Liz Mieli. “Besides the brut, we added some lemongrass to make the drink fresh and crisp. We wanted to keep the mojito’s effervescence, but we also wanted to give it an extra punch and additional flavor.”

Replacing the usual soda water with high-end bubbly, Mieli says, provides the drink with a supercharged platform from which to launch the mojito’s traditional flavors.

Sponsored
Sponsored

“The Piper-Heidsieck gives the drink a little added taste which enhances the other flavors more than it adds its own flavor,” she says. “At the same time, the brut keeps the drink crisp, clean, and refreshing by bringing out the taste of the lemongrass, lime, and mint.”

The lemongrass innovation, Mieli says, provides some aromatic earthiness to the drink it wouldn’t otherwise have.

“The lemongrass makes the drink more rounded,” she says. “Mojitos can be very sweet, but in our version, the acidity of the limes and the savor of lemongrass — we don’t use an overwhelming amount of simple syrup — tone down the sweetness as well.”


HOW TO MAKE IT

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 oz. rum
  • 3 fresh lime wedges
  • 5 leaves fresh mint
  • 3 pieces lemongrass
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 2–3 oz. Piper-Heidsieck Brut

Squeeze lime wedges into shaker tin with simple syrup, add mint leaves and lemongrass (after slapping strands against cutting board to release flavors), muddle, add ice and rum, shake vigorously, pour all contents into Collins glass, top with brut.

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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