Ernest Hemingway is credited with making the drink famous, but as with most things Caribbean, it’s probably the locals that should be given all the credit. There’s a little bar in Havana now called La Bodeguita del Medio (very little bodega of the way) that used to sell typical Cuban products and provide a place for friends to gather for a drink. Sometime between 1942 – 1949 La Bodeguita began serving a drink they called the “Mojito”. It was a cocktail made with rum, mint, sugar, lemon and club soda.
The mint originally and traditionally used is spearmint or yerba buena (a popular and readily available mint on the island). You may have also noticed that lemon, not lime was the citrus used at La Bodeguita. Other places used lime and the traditional recipe calls for lime not lemon. As for the sugar used. . . it was cane sugar juice actually. That’s why simple syrup is recommended today and the mint leaves are muddled with the lime juice and simple syrup or cane juice – just enough to bruise them but without shredding them.
Another point of note regarding mojito’s is the total alcohol content of the original recipe; about 10% ABV. That’s comparable to a glass of rose, and about double the alcohol content of some of the most innocuous wine coolers.
History and statistics aside, the mojito is a simple, refreshing summer drink and is easy to make (despite all the bad mojitos you’ve been served) with a good recipe in hand. (recipe at bottom of page)
Keep these simple tips in mind:
Use crushed ice, not cubes. The ice will melt faster and help the flavors blend better and makes the drink colder which is great for summer time – trust us.
Do not over-muddle the mint. Don’t muddle the lime with the crushed ice. Just muddle the mint & lime together.
Use a decent silver rum, but be willing to experiment. Bacardi Silver is a great place to start (don’t use Limon – bad move)
Use mineral water in place of seltzer water or club soda.
Use simple syrup instead of sugar. (It’s not called complicated sugar! Two cups of water brought to a boil, two cups of raw cane sugar dissolved in the boiling water – that’s it.)
Want to kick it up a notch? Make mint-infused simple sugar. (After dissolving sugar in the above, let 3-4 large mint sprigs steep for 30 minutes. Strain and store in your fridge. It won’t go bad.)
Use our Mojito rim·licks™ as a rimmer (we know, it’s not traditional) and if you mess the recipe up a bit, no one will ever know!
- 6 mint leaves
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- half a lime hull (already squeezed lime)
- 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (do not mess with this amount)
- 2 oz white rum
- 3 oz sparkling mineral water
- Start with a 16 ounce mixing glass. (We recommend a pint glass.)
- Place mint and simple syrup in glass and gently muddle the mint with a muddler or similar blunt instrument.
- Add the spent lime hull, lime juice, rum and mineral water together. Top off glass with crushed ice and stir until the glass gets cold.
- If you want to serve these to a number of guests. (We suggest red solo cups.)
- Mix each drink individually in the pint glass and then serve them in the same size (16 oz) solo cup.