Mint and lime are two of the best flavors you can put into a cocktail, especially when you are traveling in the tropics. The mojito originates from Cuba (some say it was created in the 1500s), but has since been adopted across the globe as a refreshingly sweet drink that can be made in a variety of ways. I like my mojitos with a lot of lime, so adjust this recipe to your particular tastes. There is no wrong way to make a mojito as long as you include fresh mint, lime and a little sugar… oh, and rum.
- ¼ cup of fresh mint
- 1-2 thick slices of lime
- 2 tsp of sugar or a large slice of fresh sugar cane
- 2 oz rum
- 1 ½ cup of selzer/mineral water
- Ice cubes or large chunks of ice
- Muddle the lime, sugar and mint together in a lowball glass
- Put ice in tall glass
- Pour muddled ingredients into tall glass
- Add rum and seltzer/mineral water
- Give it a stir
- Decorate with a slide of lime and a sprig of mint
- If you are just looking for a refreshing mid-day beverage, leave out the alcohol to make a mint and lime spritzer.
- Although regular spearmint makes the traditional mojito, try apple mint, grapefruit mint and pineapple mint for a different flavor.
- Mojitos work well with flavored rum—mango, passion fruit, and other tropical fruits mix nicely with the mint and lime, so go wild and try a few.
- Light rum gives the mojito that fresh taste, but a darker rum can add a little complexity to the drink that you might crave.
History of the Mojito
There are conflicting reports on how the mojito was invented. “Mojo” is an African word that means “to place a little spell.” Obviously Hemingway fell under that spell when he visited Cuba and made the mojito famous in his time. Earlier than Hemingway, some say Richard Drake, who sailed with Sir Francis Drake in the 1500s came up with a crude version of this classic cocktail, called El Draque. Others believe that the drink was created by African slaves. Farmers could have also been the originators, as rum was not as refined as it is today, and when you had a batch of home-brewed rum that needed something to take the edge off, you threw some lime and mint in there to make it palatable.
However this drink came about, everyone agrees that when Bacardi opened up in the mid-1800s and Hemingway had his first sip at La Bodeguita del Medio in Cuba, this simple cocktail was well on its way to an international hit. Bartenders hate to make them– they are labor intensive, and are usually ordered one by one, which just adds to the work, but if you just want a refreshing drink on a hot summer’s night, you really can’t go wrong with a mojito. Order up some plantain chips and guacamole, and you have a fun night out with friends, or make your own at home using our mojito recipe for a relaxing summer cookout.
Love mojitos? What’s your favorite way to make them?
Please drink responsibly and NEVER drink and drive.