Motanai – Like Mojito but Better

I remember discovering how well grapefruit and basil complement each other a couple of years ago.  It’s just one of those perfect marriages, like banana and custard, strawberries and cream, chips and mayonnaise…

As we were sipping our Mojitos one summer evening recently (not the “Mojitos” we had at Brazil Day, I hasten to add!) we got around to speculating about whether basil, grapefruit and rum would go together in the same way that mint, lime and rum do.

We finally tried it this week.  The LSH pounded the grapefruit and the basil, added cane suger, pounded some more, added rum and ice, shook it all up and poured it into a glass.  Topped it up with sparkling water and voilá!

The Motanai is born :

MotanaiUnfortunately, I’m off the drink for a month so I couldn’t get to enjoy one.  I did have a speculative sip (in the interest of science) and it was excellent.

The LSH, the YD and Granny all knocked back a fair few.

By the end of the evening, the LSH was quite expert at pounding the rum segments, sloshing in the basil, adding the ice leaves and topping it all up with a some sparkling grapefruit.

I’ve got ten days to go on my self-inflicted dry spell (no, not counting, really…)  I look forward to ending it with one of these.

How To :


1/4 pink grapefruit per drink (no pith or skin)

half lime, cut up

10 – 15 basil leaves

dessertspoon cane sugar

measure of rum (to taste)

sparkling water (to taste)

Method :

Pummel basil leaves vigourously with a muddler in a cocktail shaker. Add the lime and pummel some more.  Add sugar and grapefruit (make sure there’s no pith, it seems to absorb the rum), pummel again.  Then add ice cubes & rum, give it all a good shake and pour it into the glass via a strainer.  Top up with the sparkling water.


PS. What’s in a name?  Motanai – one of the first websites the LSH ever owned was, which sold Java games for mobile phones.  Sadly, it did not make us millionaires. It’s made from my nickname and our daughters’ names.  It seemed appropriate for our Mojito variation.

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