The cocktail made up 45 per cent of cocktail sales in the company’s 52 London bars over the February and March period – triple the amount sold over four weeks in January and February.
It followed a specific focus on the cocktail, led by head mixologist Jack Williams (pictured), including a dedicated Mojito menu at Jewel Piccadilly, Babble Mayfair and Jewel St Paul’s.
Jack said: “The Mojito’s popularity lies in its simplicity – people don’t always like cocktails heavy with fruit juice on a night out, and the Mojito mix is traditionally very light and refreshing.
“The trouble with Mojitos is that they’re the easiest cocktail to make but the hardest to make well. You need flaked ice, not crushed. You need fresh lime juice and sugar syrup, not pre-prepared mixes. And you need to know your flavours.”
Jack has curated a menu of 12 specific Mojito mixes, all using Bacardi Superior rum. “We started off with 50 mixes and then narrowed down to 12, including a Champagne, Watermelon and Strawberry & Cream.
“The Lemon Drizzle is also pretty special – we had the international CEO of Bacardi in the other day and he said he’d never drunk anything like it.
“The Mojito flavour is so unique that there are obvious partners that work – blueberry, kiwi and watermelon just go so well with mint.
“Then there was trial and error and inspiration from around the world. Orange & Passionfruit was something I tasted in the Middle East and the fresh pineapple is woefully underused in cocktails in the UK – people just think of Piña Colada and heavy fruit juice mixes.
“The Lemon Drizzle again was sparked by the flavour combination with mint, but then some – which I’m keeping up my sleeve for winter – were inspired by the dark and spiced rum flavours that are so popular now.”
Novus Leisure bartenders work with sugar syrup made fresh and limes squeezed so no bitter oils in the skin ruin the flavour. In addition, no fruit purées are used as bar staff select fresh fruit that arrives three times a week.