A touch of glass: Bentley crystal double old-fashioned, by Ralph Lauren Home ($120)

If they offered them on flights, I would probably become a permanent member of the crew,” says actor Mike Vogel about his cocktail of choice, the mojito. These days he spends plenty of time in flight in his role as Dean Lowry, the brash young pilot on the new ABC series Pan Am. “Dean is a real playboy,” Vogel says about his character, “and that’s where we separate. I used to be the most nervous guy in the room around women.”

This vulnerability in an ex-model and TV heartthrob is as refreshing as the combination of mint and citrus in his favorite drink, possibly best enjoyed in the sophisticated lounge of Manhattan’s former Pan Am Building (today the MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue). True to form, Vogel won’t confess his most exciting mojito-fueled adventure. “I have two kids now,” he says discreetly, though he does admit: “I had a mojito in Miami where they put actual pieces of sugarcane in the drink to chew on. It was like…,” and he names a mind-altering substance that, for the sake of his children, we won’t mention, but which might have kept him flying as high as Pan Am’s glamorous crew.

The Mojito
1½ oz. Bacardi Superior Rum
Club Soda
12 mint leaves
½ lime
2 Tbsp. simple syrup or 1 Tbsp. sugar

Muddle the mint leaves and lime. Cover with simple syrup or sugar and top with ice. Add rum and top with club soda. Stir well and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

Hungry for more? Sign up for our monthly "Taste" e-newsletter >>