Tradition may be all well and good, especially during the holidays, but this is L.A., after all. So when ordering up that stiff dose of holiday cheer, you may want to opt for the libation of the moment, a Mojitos. It's all the rage at the Four Season's Hotel bar in Beverly Hills.

"Although martinis and Cosmopolitans are big, sometimes I will make up to 20 or 30 Mojitas in one night," says the hotel's bartender Raffie. "If people see other people drinking them, and because they look (and taste) so different, I'll get a run on them."

The basic ingredient of the drink is light Baccardi rum (much more refreshing looking than the dark version).

The recipe is simple and starts with a short rocks glass with crushed ice, one and a half ounces of rum, a splash of lime juice, a splash of simple syrup (made by boiling equal parts of sugar and water) and the crucial ingredient fresh mint leaves.

"Don't use the stems," cautions Raffie.

Next, take an instrument shaped like a tiny baseball bat and crush all the ingredients together. "If you don't have a crusher, just put it in a blender and give it a one-second whip; that'll do just fine," he says. "People love it because it has a kick, but also a refreshing taste from the mint leaves. It's easy to down quite a few in a night."


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